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The risks of not managing your sleep apnea

When a person has frequent breathing pauses while they are sleeping, it is known as sleep apnea. If this happens, your body will jolt you awake so it can get you to breathe again. You can’t get a good night’s sleep due to all the interruptions, so you wake up feeling more exhausted than normal.

However, the repercussions of sleep apnea go well beyond merely making you feel sleepy. If left untreated, it may raise a person’s risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other long-term health problems.

You will have sleep apnea if your airway becomes blocked or collapses while you are sleeping. You could snort sharply when you start breathing again, startling both you and anybody else with whom you share a bed.

Obesity and high blood pressure are only two of the medical conditions that sleep apnea has been linked to. These conditions, when coupled with sleep deprivation, may have negative effects on a range of biological processes and systems.

Machines for inhaling air

Sleep apnea may exacerbate the symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) because it deprives your body of oxygen while you sleep (COPD). You may realize that it is more challenging to do the exercise or that it is tougher to catch your breath if you exercise more often than usual.

Hormonal symptoms

Cells that are afflicted with insulin resistance do not respond to the hormone insulin as well. Insulin resistance is more likely to develop in those with sleep apnea. Your blood sugar level will rise if your cells can’t absorb insulin as well as they should, which increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Sleep apnea has been associated with metabolic syndrome, a collection of risk factors for heart disease. High blood pressure, excessive LDL cholesterol, high blood sugar, and an enlarged waist circumference are some of these risk factors. One of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome is sleep apnea.

Intestinal symptoms

You have a greater chance of getting fatty liver disease, liver scarring, and significantly elevated liver enzyme levels if you have sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea may make it harder to get asleep and remain asleep while aggravating heartburn and other gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms.

The circulatory and cardiovascular systems, respectively

Other risk factors for sleep apnea include obesity and high blood pressure, both of which place extra strain on your heart. If you have apnea, you are more likely to have an abnormal heartbeat, such as atrial fibrillation, which might increase your risk of having a stroke. Heart failure is more likely to happen to those who suffer sleep apnea.

Neural system

One of the varieties of sleep apnea is known as central sleep apnea, and it is defined by a disruption in the signals that the brain sends to and receives from the respiratory center. Neurological symptoms including tingling and numbness have also been related to this specific kind of sleep apnea.

Low sex drive

If you have sleep apnea, you could have less of a sexual drive. If the pair is male, it might harm their ability to have children and cause erectile dysfunction in men.

Several different symptoms

Along with morning dry mouth or scratchy throat, headache, trouble concentrating, irritability, and daytime problems paying attention, sleep apnea is also often characterized by these additional symptoms.

Cardiovascular risk, metabolism, and sleep apnea

A lot of studies, according to Jun, have shown a link between sleep apnea and conditions including type 2 diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks, as well as a shortened lifespan. Why is this situation related? One explanation for this is because people with sleep apnea often have obesity, and, in his opinion, being fat greatly increases the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. In the great majority of cases, obesity is the main cause of both ailments, according to Jun’s explanation.

But it’s important to remember that not all persons with sleep apnea are obese. Additionally, statistics show a separate connection between sleep apnea and diabetes. In Jun’s opinion, “In spite of weight, research from our group and others has shown that sleep apnea raises the chance of developing diabetes. Also increasing blood sugar levels is sleep apnea.”

One of the most crucial things overweight or obese people can do to treat or prevent sleep apnea is to lose weight. A person is more likely to develop sleep apnea if they tend to retain fat in vulnerable places like the neck, mouth, and upper belly. This weight contributes to airway collapse when a person is sleeping because it narrows the neck and puts pressure on the lungs.

Women in particular should take care as they age. This changes with time since premenopausal women tend to gain weight in their hips and lower bodies as they approach menopause as opposed to their stomachs. The steady buildup of fat in areas of the body that are generally associated with males, such the stomach, is linked to an increased risk of sleep apnea.

When a woman hits menopause, her hormones start to change, and as a consequence, she could start to gain weight more like a man. The moment has come to pay attention to the risks of sleep apnea, says Jun, since after menopause women begin to catch up to men in the rates of apnea. “Now is the moment to be aware of the risks associated with sleep apnea.”

By correctly identifying and treating sleep apnea, you may improve your health.

Sleep apnea must be addressed since, if left untreated, it may have significant negative implications on a person’s health. Even while sleep apnea has been linked to several high-profile deaths, such as that of Judge Antonin Scalia, Jun contends that the real risk comes from harm done over time. This is due to the long-term impact that sleep apnea does to the body.

The degree of obstructive sleep apnea may range from mild to severe, as determined by the apnea-hypopnea index, a measurement tool (AHI). The AHI takes into consideration the number of times you stop breathing throughout the course of an hour of sleep.

Symptoms that Could Affect Your Work

Numerous symptoms of sleep apnea may have a severe impact on your professional life. Poor sleep hygiene is associated with a variety of problems with job performance, claims Harvard Business Review. Lack of sleep may have a detrimental effect on productivity at work, career advancement, and job happiness.

If you’ve ever suffered daytime drowsiness, you’ve definitely had personal knowledge of how sleep impacts your productivity. When you’re fatigued, it’s challenging to concentrate and complete job. Patients with sleep apnea may commonly feel significant daytime drowsiness, which results in subpar job performance overall.

The loss of sleep caused by sleep apnea may impair cognitive. When asked why they can’t focus, many persons with sleep apnea say that they have fuzzy thinking or can’t think properly. Sleep apnea-related brain fog may reduce productivity, efficiency, and accuracy at work. Additionally, it may have a detrimental impact on creativity, which is crucial in many professions.

For our bodies and minds to recover and be refreshed, we need to sleep. It might be challenging to learn new things, to think properly, and to control our emotions when we don’t get enough sleep. Another typical sign of sleep apnea is mood swings. The capacity to work efficiently and advance in your profession may all be impacted by irritability, despair, and anxiety.

Additionally, your immune system needs sleep. The immune system might potentially deteriorate due to sleep apnea. This may be one element in the explanation for the association between inadequate sleep and higher absenteeism rates at work. As a result, there are a number of sleep apnea symptoms that, if addressed, might hinder your career.

People with sleep apnea are more likely to experience an unexpected job loss.

One of the saddest experiences for many individuals may be being fired or laid off from a job. It may not only leave you jobless but may also harm your chances of finding employment in the future. However, those who suffer untreated sleep apnea may be more likely to lose their jobs or be dismissed.

A 2019 research that was published in the academic journal Sleep examined the relationship between OSA and job loss. In their analysis of 261 individuals, the researchers discovered that 45% of them had a history of numerous job losses due to termination or layoffs. In comparison to individuals without the sleep problem, those with sleep apnea were twice as likely to have had several involuntary job losses.

However, adopting CPAP therapy may help lower these risks since sleep apnea treatment may decrease symptoms and enhance sleep quality. Poor job performance often leads to terminations and layoffs, which may be related to the many sleep apnea symptoms. People may benefit from treatment to prevent these problems, which often result in job loss.

CPAP Therapy for the Treatment of Sleep Apnea

Reducing or removing the apnea episodes you have while sleeping is the aim of sleep apnea therapy. Due to how many patients respond well to CPAP therapy, it has swiftly established itself as the gold standard in medical care.

The air pressure within your airways is raised by CPAP treatment. This helps stop your airways from closing down and causing apnea episodes. As a consequence, most sleep apnea patients have fewer nighttime awakenings and experience deeper, higher-quality sleep. The majority of people also observe positive changes in the signs and dangers of sleep apnea to their health.

If you suffer sleep apnea, one of our doctors may advise you to use CPAP treatment. We collaborate with you to identify treatment options that complement your way of life. Our staff can assist you in locating cozy, practical sleep apnea solutions so you can have a good night’s rest. To help you feel your best and improve your therapy, we also provide continual monitoring. Take our sleep apnea risk assessment as a quick and simple screening tool if you suspect that you may have the condition.

Takeaway

Sleep apnea may be treated in a number of ways. If left untreated, it may prevent you from getting a full night’s rest and raise your chance of developing a number of harmful conditions. Treatments like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and oral appliances may help maintain a sufficient flow of oxygen in your lungs while you are sleeping. If you are overweight, dropping weight may lessen your risk of heart disease while also assisting in the improvement of your sleep apnea symptoms.

What You Need To Know Before Choosing the Right Sleep Apnea Device

Sleep apnea is common among older adults as it’s a sleep disorder that poses an increased risk to patients as they grow older. Obstructive sleep apnea patients experience worse symptoms of sleep apnea syndrome, such as diabetes and high blood pressure when left untreated for a long time. 

Sleep apnea is sleep-disordered breathing caused by airway obstruction, the brain not stimulating the throat muscles needed to breathe during sleep, or a combination of both factors. Several air pressure devices and methods for treating obstructive sleep apnea require a doctor’s prescription. 

Continuous positive airway pressure CPAP machines are considered the premium standard for treatment. However, outside of a continuous positive airway pressure CPAP machine, the best appliances for obstructive sleep apnea are APAP machines, EPAP valves, Oral Appliances, and implanted muscle stimulation devices. Each device has its pros, cons, and considerations, which we’ll explore in more detail below.

The best device for treating sleep apnea should be decided with the aid of your doctor, as treatment may vary depending on the nature of sleep apnea symptoms you experience and other health complications surrounding it.  Learn more about natural ways to treat sleep apnea. We have decided to enlighten you with facts. So, read on to learn about the different types of sleep apnea and the best treatment devices available. 

The Three Main Types of Sleep Apnea

Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition where people find it challenging to inhale and exhale regularly. As a result, people with sleep apnea may experience long pauses before breathing during sleep, and it is common for sleep apnea patients to wake up coughing, choking, or gasping for air.

The three types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common type of sleep apnea. Children and adults struggling with Sleep Apnea symptoms have Obstructive sleep apnea caused by airway obstruction. This condition is usually due to the relaxation of throat muscles or excessive tissue in the soft palate. Those whose tonsils have not been removed may also experience obstructive sleep apnea regularly. 
  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): Not many people are battling this type of sleep apnea. The disorder arises when the brain loses its inability to control regular breathing during sleep. People with central sleep apnea may need advanced treatment options to initiate breathing. Treatments like AVAPS BiPAP Machine will work effectively.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea (CompSAS): Complex sleep apnea combines obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. People with this type of sleep apnea are diagnosed when they begin treating Obstructive SA with a CPAP, only to find it ineffective. 

Unfortunately, that is the most challenging form of sleep apnea to diagnose and treat. As a result, it’s common for sleep doctors to explore a combination of effective therapies, including prescription advanced BiPAP machines and drugs to treat complex sleep apnea. 

The best over-the-counter obstructive sleep apnea machines are not recommended for mild breathing and snoring issues and are not rated to treat sleep apnea. Unfortunately, people can only sell only anti-snoring devices over the counter, so it’s up to you to get a prescription solution that’s clinically proven to treat obstructive sleep apnea. The MyTAP Oral Appliance can be helpful in this regard.

Snoring and OSA are not the same things, and relying on anti-snoring devices to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea may not bring noticeable relief from the obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Right Device for Sleep Apnea Device For You

With various treatment options available for obstructive sleep apnea, it’s hard to figure out what works and what doesn’t for each specific case of mild sleep apnea. So, to help you decide, here are four essential considerations you should keep in mind in your quest to find the best device for treating sleep apnea:

Type of Sleep Apnea and Doctor’s Recommendations

Some devices work better for one type of sleep apnea than the other. Therefore, you must consult a sleep specialist and undergo a sleep study to determine which device is ideal for your case. Speaking to your primary care provider about your sleep health and concerns is also a great place to start if you haven’t already been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. 

Health Insurance

Most health insurance policies will cover moderate sleep apnea treatment expenses, but when dealing with insurance, ask straightforward questions and get clear answers about what is covered and what you’ll be responsible for. 

Your insurance policy might favor one treatment over another and may be able to handle more of the cost of a particular type of therapy, so be sure to explore your options with them. 

Comfort

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines yield the best results for people with moderate obstructive sleep apnea, but adjusting to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy can be difficult. Many people initially experience claustrophobia, and it’s easy to become discouraged and give up on treatment before finding what works best for you. 

CPAP

Work with your healthcare provider to explore different mask options and comfort features your CPAP machine may offer to improve your results drastically. For example, if you feel that you’ve tried it all regarding CPAP, an oral appliance or hypoglossal nerve stimulator may offer greater comfort.

Final Words

once you have been diagnosed with mild obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, or other related sleep disorders, the best thing is to ask your sleep specialist about which treatment you should consider. 

Untreated sleep apnea may result in severe health complications. Meanwhile, severe sleep apnea comes with several risk factors, such as daytime sleepiness and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and affects your overall health. 

When the situation worsens, it is your doctor’s discretion to suggest a sleep study or a suitable device to treat your severe obstructive sleep apnea. Mind you; not all therapies will help you to fall asleep at the initial stage. In addition, to overcome your sleep disorder, you may need to be consistent with your sleep apnea treatment. 

From the expert’s point of view, we recommend that you understand the proper use of any treatment recommended and adhere strictly to your medications to aid in quick recovery and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. 

The natural way to treat sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially severe medical condition that may result in heart problems if ignored. It is crucial to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. You’ll need their expert advice and a special treatment plan designed to deal with your specific sleep issues. Continue reading if you’re looking for lifestyle changes and all-natural sleep apnea treatments.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a medical disease that causes brief breathing pauses while you’re sleeping. This condition may prevent you from getting enough oxygen, which might cause you to gasp for air and awaken. You may or may not remember these sleep disturbances in the morning. Fatigue, loud snoring, headaches when you wake up, a dry mouth or sore throat, trouble concentrating, shortness of breath when you wake up, and daytime drowsiness are common sleep apnea symptoms.

If you have sleep apnea but don’t know it because you think your sleep cycle is still regular, you may not be conscious of all the breathing pauses. Sleep apnea and loud snoring could sound similar.

How to Spot People with Sleep Apnea

The risk of metabolic and cardiovascular illness is closely correlated with untreated sleep apnea in particular.

These are the two primary types of sleep apnea:

Having trouble sleeping (OSA)

The most common kind of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, happens when the tongue blocks the airway at the back of the throat.

Snoring in the neck (CSA)

A less common kind of sleep apnea called central sleep apnea occurs when your brain is unable to effectively connect with your breathing muscles.

Treatments for sleep apnea and lifestyle adjustments

As you may be aware, utilizing a CPAP machine, often known as “continuous positive airway pressure,” is the conventional course of treatment for sleep apnea. A CPAP machine is often quite effective, although some people find it uncomfortable.

You may be able to treat your sleep apnea by making lifestyle changes, using your CPAP, and following this health advice. The following techniques may be used to improve sleeping patterns or even cure sleep disorders:

Keep a healthy weight.

Doctors often suggest starting a weight loss program for their obese sleep apnea patients. Your risk of gaining weight may increase if your airways are blocked, especially in your upper body. Any reduction in windpipe pressure may alleviate sleep apnea symptoms.

Those who are obese and lose only a small bit of weight may no longer need upper airway surgery or prolonged CPAP therapy, according to studies.

Cut down on nasal sneezing

Treating sinus or congestion problems may help you snore less and open up your airways, allowing you to get a better night’s sleep.

A few natural remedies include using a sinus spray or saline solution in a Neti pot to cleanse your nose, staying hydrated by consuming plenty of fluids, and avoiding foods like dairy products that could exacerbate congestion.

Make a different sleeping posture

Sleeping on your side as opposed to your back may significantly lessen the symptoms of sleep apnea, even if it may seem like a little alteration. A 2006 study found that sleep position affected more than 50% of obstructive sleep apnea patients. 3 Other studies suggest that laying on your back may make your issues worse. Some folks discovered that their breathing would return to normal if they could sleep on their side. ⁴

Don’t take sedatives.

To find out how taking sedatives or consuming alcohol may influence your sleep apnea, speak with your doctor. Breathing may be made more challenging by anything that relaxes the throat muscles. Benzodiazepines, antihistamines, opiates, or sleeping pills, for instance.

Workout

Exercise often leads to weight loss, which may lower the severity of sleep apnea.

It may also enhance the quantity of sleep and reduce daily fatigue while boosting oxygen circulation.

Use a humidifier

Humidifiers increase the humidity in the air. Dry air may aggravate your body and respiratory system. You will gain from using a humidifier in the following ways:

  • Encourage simpler breathing
  • Lessen clogging

You could want to add some essential oils, like peppermint, lavender, or eucalyptus oil, to your humidifiers for added benefit.

Last but not least, follow the humidifier’s manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to stop bacteria or mold formation.

Utilize oral devices

Although behavioral changes and CPAP are often the initial treatments used, other resources are also available. In the case of treating sleep apnea, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine recommends mouth appliances.

The ADA asserts that a specially designed device may aid in regaining attention, enhancing sleep, and enhancing health.

These individualized therapies, which function similarly to mouthguards, help to straighten the jaw and move the tongue and soft palate forward to relieve neck congestion.

Oral appliances may vary from low-cost over-the-counter (OTC) choices to custom ones that your dentist creates.

Other guidance

Keep your head held high: Use a cervical cushion or a foam wedge to lift your body several inches above your waist or to raise the head of your bed.

Stop smoking: Smoking increases the likelihood of swelling and inflammation in your upper airway and throat, which worsens sleep apnea. OSA is more common in smokers than in non-smokers.

Avoid consuming caffeinated beverages a few hours before going to bed.

When should you visit a doctor?

Visit a doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Prolonged loud snoring; excessive daytime sleepiness; headaches or sore throat in the morning
  • Snoring, gasping sounds, or shortness of breath upon awakening.
  • Insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep).

If you believe you are showing sleep apnea symptoms, your doctor might recommend that you consult a sleep specialist. When a sleep specialist completes specialized training and passes an exam, the American Board of Sleep Medicine certifies them.

The majority of sleep specialists concentrate on just one problem, like sleep apnea. Additionally, some of them might be ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialists.

Conclusion

The signs of sleep apnea may be controlled and lessened with the help of natural remedies and certain lifestyle changes. CPAP therapy is the most widely used and effective treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea, so you shouldn’t rule it out. Surgery may be required occasionally.

Consult with your doctor before using any natural remedies or home remedies. While some people adjust to using a CPAP machine while they sleep fairly well, others have trouble.

If your doctor recommends CPAP therapy, they will look for the mask, machine, and pressure settings that will make you feel the most comfortable. Visit a doctor as soon as your symptoms start to get worse.