What is Sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea means that you frequently stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. It can be mild to severe, based on the number of times an hour that you stop breathing or have slowed breathing.
What causes Sleep apnea?
Blocked or narrowed airways in your nose, mouth, or throat can cause sleep apnea. It usually manifests as loud snoring with gagging or interruption of sleep at night .
Who is at risk for OSA ?
- Overweight and obese individuals
- People with short chin and retracted jaw bone
- Patients with heart disease
- Patients with short neck
How can I be diagnosed ?
Sleep apnea can be diagnosed easily using a sleep study (Polysomnography). This test is done overnight during your sleep and is a noninvasive technique wherein a technician connects some leads and monitors your sleep.
Do I require hospital admission for testing?
No . Most patients can be investigated at the comfort of their own home and privacy. Few patients may require a complete sleep evaluation and video maonitoring and may be admitted in hospital/ evaluated in specially designed sleep labs.
How is sleep Apnea treated?
You can treat sleep apnea at home by making lifestyle changes and weight loss. You may require a CPAP breathing machine that keeps tissues in the throat from blocking your airway and helps keep your airway open. In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove enlarged tissues in the throat.
What is CPAP?
CPAP is a small machine that you use at home every night while you sleep. It increases air pressure in your throat to keep your airway open. When you have sleep apnea, this can help you sleep better so you feel much better. CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure.”
The CPAP machine will have one of the following:
- A mask that covers your nose and mouth
- Prongs that fit into your nose
- A mask that covers your nose only, the most common type. This type is called NCPAP. The N stands for “nasal.”
Why is it done?
CPAP is usually the best treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It is the first treatment choice and the most widely used. Your doctor may suggest CPAP if you have:
· Moderate to severe sleep apnea.
· Sleep apnea and coronary artery disease (CAD) or heart failure.
Does CPAP have side effects?
No. Some people who use CPAP have minor complaints like :
- A dry or stuffy nose
- Irritated skin on the face.
- Sore eyes.
These problems can be fixed by your doctor .
I have OSA ( Obstructive sleep Apnea). The machine is costly.Is it must to use the machine?
A CPAP is the best and most efficient was of treating OSA. It obviates need of surgical interventions and protects your body from complications of OSA such as: Heart diseases, stroke, uncontrolled metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, depression etc.