Posted on 22 August 2010.
Maybe you are having a hard time sleeping at night. Or maybe you are finding yourself waking up for no apparent reason and your heart is racing in the middle of the night?
Or maybe you know somone or sleep next to someone who is always waking up and snoring during the night? Is that you?
If the answer is yes, you are first off not alone. Many millions of people all over the world suffer from all types of sleeping disorders. Some can be dangerous to one’s health, others not so much.
One of the most common sleeping disorders is Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA).
What you should do if you are finding yourself in this situation, is talk to your doctor or do some other research on the internet to gain a better understanding of what OSA is and how it is treated. When left un-treated, it can lead to many health problems down the road, and it could very well be the direct cause for your current state of tiredness, high blood pressure, or even erectile dysfunction.
But the best news is that it can be treated, and it doesn’t have to be the end of the world for anyone.
Posted in Sleep Apnea
Posted on 17 July 2010.
Why is it that when you walk into most cardiologist’s doctor offices, they rarely will admit that their patients have sleep apnea?
This is a question that most people should be wondering about. It’s just like walking into a endocrinologist’s office and he/she tells you they never see obese patients.
When you look at all of the clinical data, it all suggests that patients who have cardiovascular disease also have a very likelihood of having sleep apnea. Or at a bare minimum, this is a very high risk group for having OSA. When you think about the physics here, it just makes sense.
When you have sleep apnea, you are snoring usually much of the night, your airway is closing, and your body is not getting much oxygen. And when the airway is clear, your heart starts pumping like crazy to make up for lost time, and lost oxygen in your system. This nasty combination which can happen over and over again all night long leads to heart problems in many. Heart attacks, and also strokes.
So why? Why cardiologists would you think that your patients for some reason don’t have sleep apnea. Or why would you think that sleep apnea is something that you should not worry about? Is it because you don’t care about your patient’s health? I don’t think that is the answer. Or is it because you went to medical school so long ago that they didn’t have any of the current studies available for you to read? Why? What’s the reason. Especially when recent studies show how roughly 50% of congestive heart failure patients have obstructive sleep apnea!
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist mr. cardiologist. You just need to smell some coffee every once in a while. Start screening your patients for sleep apnea. If you want to learn how to do that, just go and read the information on how to screen for OSA.
Posted in Sleep Apnea
Posted on 11 June 2010.
That’s right, going to an overnight polysomnography(PSG) sleep test in a lab or hospital can be a very expensive event. It can be so expensive that patients many times cannot afford the copay that is required. This is a problem with in lab sleep studies.
For many people, when a doctor tells them they have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, they really don’t know what to think. Some people go home and look on the computer for information about sleep apnea or snoring. Some people even go the extra mile and look into treatments and cures for sleep apnea. But, before anyone can really understand how bad their potential obstructive sleep apnea really is, they need to be tested. There are just a few different ways to have a full sleep study.
Sleep Lab Testing Method for Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
The sleep lab is the older or old fashioned way to test for sleep apnea. This involves a patient spending the night away from home and being monitored for how many apnea events they have throughout the night. There is diagnostic equipment attached to the patient that is reading many different channels which will uncover if a patient really has obstructive sleep apnea. Channels like pulse, oxygen, air flow, brain waves, body movement, apneas, hypopneas, and upper airway resistance is all measured. The only potential problems are that patients are connected to many different nodes or wires, and in an enviornment which is not very similar to their home. For this reason along with the fact that there is an overnight sleep tech person from the sleep lab watching you sleep all night, its hard for people to create a realistic night of sleep to be monitored. And of course, the costs for all of this are very very expensive. Many times, the costs for an overnight sleep test to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea can cost over two-thousand dollars ($2000).
At Home Portable Sleep Testing for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The other option that patients have is wearing a small testing device for one night in the patient’s home to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep testing device will also measure all of the same channels that are measured in a sleep lab, but, the patient can be tested for OSA in their own home. The costs for portable sleep testing for OSA are only a fraction of the costs compared to having a sleep test in a lab or hospital, and for that reason alone, many patients opt for this type of test. As the years have moved on, home sleep testing has began to gain huge popularity with both patients and physicians all over the world, and is expected to eliminate the need for in lab sleep testing for obstructive sleep apnea in the near future.
Posted in Sleep Apnea, Uncategorized
Posted on 16 May 2010.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure(CPAP) is one of the most popular forms of treatment for patients who suffer from OSA. It is also one of the oldest forms of therapy as well, as it has been out on the market for several decades now. CPAP is pretty simple, it is a glorified air blower that all night long(continously) blows air into your throat and down into your lungs. This allows people to sleep better for many different reasons.
How does CPAP Work:
- A CPAP machine is placed next to the bed of the person who has obstructive sleep apnea.
- All night long, the machine will blow out air into a tube at a continous air pressure. Something like the air pressure you feel when you put your head out the window at 15 miles per hour
- The individual using the CPAP machine will also connect the hose that is blowing air to a mask
- This mask with take the air pressure, and force it into the patients nose or possibly the nose and mouth(depending on what type of mask is being used)
Common Questions about CPAP machines:
1. Can you take it off during the night if you need to use the bathroom? Most definitely, there are easy ways to take the mask off in just seconds
2. Do CPAP machines make alot of noise? Yes and NO, it really depends on how old the machine is and what pressure it is on.
3. Do you have to wear CPAP your whole life? That depends on if your body changes to the point where you can sleep without any respritory problems throughout the night without it. Most CPAP users use the CPAP their whole life.
4. What happens if you forget to use your CPAP machine one night? You will just go back to the symptoms you had prior to using CPAP. Most people for some reason forget to use CPAP when they are strating out by accident.
5. Do you snore when you use CPAP? No, CPAP has the remarkable ability to eliminate snoring right away, it’s truly amazing.
Posted in CPAP
Posted on 14 May 2010.
Image by theother66 via Flickr
Husband Snores all night long, what can I do?
First off, don’t worry too much, there are about 15 million other wives dealing with the exact same thing as you. Most of the time, it is because your husband has a case of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). If your husband is someone who is tired much of th time, pauses or chokes in his sleep, and has no recollection of this behavior, that might just mean he has sleep apnea. It is totally treatable. But get started contacting someone either by phone or through the internet that can help out. There should be all types of local companies who specialize in helping patients just like your husband, many of them are probably related to sleep medicine organizations or medical groups. Some of the side effects of un treated sleep apnea can lead to health issues down the road, so that is why you should get started with this right away. It is never too late.
Some of the problems that you will probably encounter is a husband who is in denial about their snoring, and apnea, and how it effects their life. If they are like the other 15 million husbands, they think it is no big deal since they have been dealing with it already their whole life. WRONG. It’s a major big deal having un treated sleep apnea. Their throat is closing up and causing oxygen levels to go down in their whole body including their brain… I think that is a very big deal. But once again never fear, sleep apnea is 100% treatable. The bigger issue is going to be getting your husband out of the denial phase. That is probably best left to a professional. So again, I encourage you to seek help right away. This will be a major improvement in your husband’s life, and they should have nothing but BIG THANKS for you being able to help them out like this. Some people have never slept with their husbands and not had them snore until they treated their sleep apnea. I can put my wife in that category too. Good luck, and don’t wait to get started.
Posted in Husband Snores