Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts due to obstruction. The effect is a reduction in oxygen levels in the body triggering a fight or flight response and a release of adrenaline and other stress hormones. Most people are unaware that they’ve stopped breathing for a few seconds in their sleep. There are four types of testing available used to diagnose sleep apnea. Level 1 is conducted in a sleep lab using a nocturnal polysomnogram. Level 2 uses a portable nocturnal polysomnogram and this is conducted at home. Level 3 is a cardio-respiratory study conducted at home and level 4 is also conducted at home using nocturnal oximetry. Severity of this sleep disorder is determined by the number of apneas per hour of sleep.
Symptoms of sleep apnea may include:
- Interruption of breathing during sleep
- Falling asleep during the day
- Restless sleep
- Loud snoring
- Morning headaches
- Mood or behaviour changes
Management for sleep apnea may include a nasal CPAP or mandibular advancement device. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure and consists of a mask worn overnight to supply air under pressure. This pressure holds the airway open so it doesn’t collapse causing apnea. A CPAP device is often the most effective treatment for sleep apnea, and you can try the device at home before purchasing it. A mandibular advancement device is worn in the mouth to hold the lower jaw and tongue forward to prevent blockage. This device can be custom made by your dentist and may be effective for snoring and mild sleep apnea.
Call Lakeside Medical Supplies and talk to one of our qualified technicians for further information on sleep apnea and CPAP machines or visit us in Salmon Arm or Vernon. We are a locally owned, family run company, and can help you select the right products for your health needs. Our years of experience in the healthcare industry allow us to offer exceptional services.
For more information, see our Sleep Apnea