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What are the Dangers of Sleep Apnea - Mattress Xperts

What are the Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Technology Aids in Better Sleep

Advancements in technology have now made it possible to sleep better at night for those who think they may have sleep apnea. Did you know that you can perform a sleep study at home for a quick diagnosis of Sleep apnea without the hassle of having to leave home? 

These products can range in price between $25 to $199 depending on the depth of reporting you would like. These devices and reporting do not replace the need for an accurate study from a medical professional rather they can provide you with a baseline report of your actual diagnosis. 

Many years ago, I worked for a medical company specializing in sleep studies, DME, and working with doctors and patients diagnosing and treating Sleep Apnea. Doctors would refer their patients to our medical group and I would assist the patient in testing, setting up equipment, consulting with the patient, and finding a facility for the overnight study. Those patients were less than happy to sleep in a facility wired with diagnostic wires and watched from a double-sided pane mirrored window for 8 hours while they slept. Just imagine the awkwardness of being watched at night while you slept was more than a little intimidating, to say the least, but patients did so knowing that they were going to feel better. Now, there are ways to get diagnosed and set up treatment with just a small adapter to your finger and a small breath analyzer ( without that weird guy staring at you while you slept in an unfamiliar place for 8 hours).

 Technology has certainly advanced since my days in the medical field. But, what is Sleep Apnea, is it just snoring and most importantly, when should you speak to a doctor about your sleep apnea and snoring? Well, this blog will quickly help you to decide, so keep reading. 

What are the Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Everyone has heard that you should take care of yourself by eating right, having good hygiene, and getting ample exercise, but what are the risks and dangers of not taking care of your sleep habits? Well, to be honest...  It's dangerous and can lead to other health risks if not caught early on. 

 In particular, undiagnosed sleep apnea is directly tied to an increased risk of strokes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic health and leads to an increased risk of obesity.  The scariest part? You might not even know you have this very common problem but there are signs and symptoms you should pay attention to. Take note that Sleep Apnea is not just an "old guy" issue. It is becoming more frequent in Teens and young adults so paying attention to your k sleep is very important. 

If your wife or partner has started sleeping on the sofa or in another room that would be your first sign. As humans, we are wired to do what's best for our bodies even if that means leaving our partner in one room to sleep in another due to snoring habits. So, if your partner is grabbing their pillow in the middle of the night headed to another part of the house don’t be offended or panicked that they do not love you anymore because it's only human nature to want to sleep uninterrupted.

Instead, be proactive in your health and seek medical attention or even get one of these cool new in-home devices that can help you self-diagnose the need to seek further medical attention. 

While there are many symptoms of sleep apnea. Here are just a few that I believe to be the most impactful and noticeable. 

  • Daytime sleepiness that's getting worse 
  • Obesity even when you diet and exercise 
  • Waking up feeling groggy. 
  • Mental alertness waning 
  • Waking up with brain fog 
  • Needing to take a nap mid-day 
  • Loud snoring, witnessed breathing interruptions, or awakenings due to gasping or choking and waking up coughing.
  • Defined as at least 5 obstructive respiratory events (apneas, hypopneas, or respiratory effort-related arousals) per hour of sleep.

 

Sleep apnea is not just snoring as I mentioned earlier. Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing while sleeping. The repetition of losing your breath at night can actually lead to stroke by cutting off air to the brain. One physician I spoke to said it was like mini-strokes in the brain multiple times a night 365 days a year. Some people have less severe events while some have an extreme loss of breath with more events and duration of oxygen. This happens with your airways become blocked or obstructed by soft pallet tissue. 

Some people have these “events” up to 100 times in a night or more so just imagine what this is doing to your brain with the lack of oxygen it is receiving. 

Hypopneas or in layman's terms is when you stop breathing called “apneas”. Apneas are events for either short periods or longer periods of time. 

Some people can stop breathing or have apnea events for up to 25 seconds or longer from 30 times in a night or upwards to of 1000 times. These “events” could be several times in an hour or several times a minute. This can be so harmful to your health and needs to be given the appropriate medical attention quickly before other medical issues arise. 

Most of the time men or women who have large neck circumferences have sleep apnea (not always) but 89% of the time large neck circumference is a tale-tale sign of sleep apnea it is best that men really pay attention to how they sleep and how they wake up feeling in the morning. But, how do you do this if you do not have a partner who watches or hears you sleep at night? Well, that's where technology comes into play. Some of these amazing sleep apnea devices can range in price between $25 and $199. I do not have recommendations for any of these devices here but I will say that if you want a simple diagnostic reading you can go for the least expensive device so that you can have the ability to show your doctor the minimal reporting that is given from the device or if you would like a more diagnostic reading you can opt for the higher priced device.

If you find yourself waking up gasping for air at night I would highly recommend getting an adjustable base we sell several different versions of adjustable bases here at Mattress Xperts. There are many types that are offered by several manufactures each having its own features and benefits. Adjustable bases help to elevate your shoulders, neck, and head while you sleep opening up your airways to better improve your air intake. 

Even, if you do not have a diagnosis of sleep apnea an adjustable base can help with the constriction of your air passages which could help you long-term with healthy sleep habits. 

Tempur-Pedic Adjustable Base: Advanced Sleep 

When you have sleep apnea or difficulty sleeping at night while you sleep in a prone position (on your tummy with your back to the ceiling) or a supine position (when you are on your back with your tummy to the ceiling) an Adjustable base can really help you sleep upright and lifted opening up your breathing passages.

If you have difficulty breathing at night the best adjustable base for breathing problems or issues is a Tempur-Pedic Smart Base. I'm not just saying this because we sell these power bases at Mattress Xperts but, I am also a customer. My husband and I use the Tempur-Pedic Ergo Smart base to aid in his diagnosis and it has become one of my regular routines to check his sleep on the Tempur-Pedic sleep app especially when he becomes grumpy or moody. The Sleep App from Tempurpedic can give you insights on how well you are sleeping, if you are tossing and turning or how many times a night you get out of bed. This sleep technology is a game changer for anyone with snoring issues because it self-adjusts while sleeping to help you breathe better and stay asleep longer. 

 Most people who have sleep apnea tend to sleep on their side so that their airway is not tightened or constricted by a flat position. When people sleep on their backs it tightens and moves the soft pallet down and blocks the airway, many doctors including Pulmonologist physicians are now highly recommending adjustable bases when diagnosed with sleep apnea or other breathing problems such as COPD. 

Adjustable bases are designed to tilt the head upwards, giving your neck a slight tilt in the upward position allowing your pallet to stay in position helping you to breathe easier without constricting the air passages.

Tempurpedic has amazing features and technology in the advanced adjustable Smart base that helps adjust the body at night while you sleep, automatically adjusting your body and head to the perfect position without waking up to adjust on the remote. The Tempur-Pedic Smart base is one of the most advanced adjustable bases on the market today and is recommended by Mattress Xperts for those who need added assistance in healthy sleep. 

tempurpedic_sleep_apnea_snore_app

 What happens when you are diagnosed with Sleep Apnea? 

 When you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, trust me it's not the end of the world. Yet, it’s the beginning of a bright new world filled with Techno-Color happiness. Just think of The Wizard of Oz. (lol) remember in the beginning of the movie Dorothy is in Kansas? Black and White and dreary then the tornado comes and Dorothy wakes up in OZ with bright colors all around her and cant believe her eyes. Well, this is what happens when you have been sleeping unhealthy and then start sleeping healthy and breathing healthy at night. Waking up feeling amazing, well rested and alive can be a life-changing experience. There are products out there that can offer these life-changing experiences you just got to trust the right people to give you the right products for your health. 

That's one of the reasons I started a sleep store. To help others sleep better without having to go back into the medical field and deal with Durable Medical Equipment I figured I would leave that to the professionals and open Mattress-Xperts.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Apnea

After you are diagnosed with sleep apnea the first course of action is to determine what Durable Medical Device (DME) is needed. Some Primary or Internal Medicine doctors will care for your sleep apnea diagnosis or they may refer you to a Pulmonologist.

I highly recommend seeking the care and attention of a Pulmonologist who specializes in the lungs and breathing disorders since sleep apnea devices are actually prescribed medical devices which need to be titrated to your specific and special needs based on your sleep study report.

 

pap_head_up_position

 There are two devices that are prescribed by your doctor. Either a Bi-Pap or a C-Pap both gives you a form of Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) which uses compressed air to support the upper airways during sleep.

 

  • A C-PAP is a device that you will wear during the night that gives you gentle air pressure of a mixture of oxygen and water to deliver one-way air pressure upon inhalation and breathing in. 
  • A Bi-PAP on the other hand offers a two-way passage pressure upon Inhalation and Exhalation airway pressure (IPAP) exhalation positive airway pressure (EPAP) — basically meaning that it helps you breathe in and breathe out. Depending on the BiPAP machine’s settings which is determined by your pulmonologist to titrate the machine to your exact needs will switch between IPAP and EPAP and may be timed or automatically based on the patients breathing patterns and O2 needs. 
  • BiPAP machines have a typical pressure range of 4 to 30 cm H2O. 

A doctor will determine which machine you will need after your Sleep Study medically referred to as polysomnography. The Polysomnography will tell the doctor if you need help breathing upon inhalation which patients are generally given a C-PAP however when the patient needs help with both the inhalation and exhalation the doctor will generally diagnose you with a higher diagnosis of sleep apnea and prescribe a BI-PAP. Sleep Apnea machines are Medical Devices that in patients breathing while they sleep. So lets do a quick overview of this blog post. 

  • Seeing a Pulmonologist is recommended (Pulmo relating to the lungs) 
  • New Technology is on the market today that can give you a preliminary report to self-diagnose your need for assistance in Sleep Apnea.  
    • However, a pulmonologist will be the key to your sleep study readings and determining which medical device you will need. 
    • C-PAP is a device that you will use at night to offer assistance in Positive Airway Pressure upon inhalation. 
    • BI-PAP (Meaning two-way) offers Positive Air Way Pressure both upon inhalation and exhalation. 
    • An Adjustable base with Smart Features can really assist in the quality of one's sleep whether you have sleep apnea, COPD or other breathing issues. 
    • Tempur-Pedic Ergo Smart Base is the most highly technologically advanced adjustable base on the market which offers an app that you can see the results of healthier sleep. 

     

    Sleep is more than just a time of relaxation. Healthy sleep leads to a healthy way of living. People waking up feeling tired and groggy need to seek medical attention. Mattress Xperts consultants can help you seek the products you need to sleep better, we are all well-versed and trained in people who have sleep apnea or special sleep needs.  We know healthy sleep is important and are here to help you choose the products you need. We can help. 

 

 

 

 

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