Tips for sleep apnea medical experts

As a sleep technologist, you often treat people who have sleep apnea. Continuous positive airway pressure, often known as CPAP, is an effective and well-liked treatment for sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea use the non-surgical technique to open up their airways while they are sleeping.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the disease affects more than 18 million Australians. The fact that the community of sleep technologists is so acquainted with the CPAP problem should thus not be surprising. Another well-known truth is how crucial it is to encourage your patients to continue their medication.

In this article, we’ll examine the importance of CPAP adherence, the factors that make it difficult for patients to stick to treatment plans, and eight techniques you may use to help your sleep apnea patients utilize their CPAP more often.

Why Is CPAP Compliance So Vital?

According to a 2012 MedScape article, 50% of patients who get CPAP either quit using it or don’t follow their treatment plan. People with sleep apnea must adhere to CPAP treatment diligently because if it is stopped, the ailment swiftly returns.

A tiny, randomized trial found that hourly arousal incidences had more than doubled after only two weeks without CPAP. According to a 2011 article in MedPage Today, the prevalence of apnea-hypopnea has increased by a factor of 17.

Objective sleepiness assessments did not significantly change, despite the fact that subjective tiredness and OSA returned a few days after the CPAP treatment finished. By the end of the experiment, endothelial function was much worse than in those using CPAP, and morning heart rate, blood pressure, and urine catecholamine levels were all significantly increased.

You can see that patients must strictly adhere to their treatment plan in order to maintain their health.

Why Is CPAP Adherence in Patients So Difficult?

A patient’s CPAP tolerance and adherence may suffer from a variety of pressure, patient, and mask-related issues. Knowing the most common sleep apnea signs and problems can help you as a sleep technician identify potential nonadherence concerns.

As our article, Top 10 Most Common CPAP Mask Problems and Discomfort (& How to Solve Them), demonstrates, there are a number of common issues with treatment. These consist of:

  • An unease with using the CPAP mask and a difficulty getting used to it.
  • Worrying that their mask would cause an allergy.
  • Not being able to tolerate the forced air from the mask.
  • Having a runny or stuffy nose after using a CPAP machine.
  • A tightening sensation when wearing the mask.
  • Sleeping difficulties while using a CPAP machine.
  • Having a dry mouth after putting on the mask.
  • Frequently removing their sleep mask.
  • Being unable to stand the machine’s noise.

Any of the aforementioned issues might lead to new CPAP users stopping their treatment suddenly. This underscores the importance of discussing potential CPAP difficulties and solutions with your patients.

What steps can sleep researchers take to improve CPAP compliance?

It’s crucial for sleep technicians to provide patients the resources, information, and support they need to feel comfortable using CPAP treatment and, as a consequence, boost adherence. Take the following steps to achieve this: Educate Patients Before Treatment (And Continuing Throughout Treatment)

Make sure your patient understands all of the CPAP machine’s characteristics, the therapy it offers, any possible issues, and how it will help them with their sleep apnea symptoms before giving them the CPAP mask. Tell them how to handle each common objection and how to prepare for them all.

Make sure they understand the risks of stopping their medicine and that, despite their early pain, they will gradually become used to it. Untreated sleep apnea has a detrimental effect on a patient’s health and quality of life, and you should make sure your patients are aware of this. Discuss any medical conditions that are said to exist or are known to exist. They may be more inclined to accept their treatment plan and, as a consequence, take more control over their health.

The early stages of therapy are when treatment cessation occurs most often. The CPAP mask may feel incredibly weird when first worn. It is advised that you explain to patients the effectiveness and benefits of CPAP therapy. This could motivate individuals to keep up their treatment throughout the first stages of the transition.

Finding the Right Mask Takes Time

For many individuals, wearing the improper mask results in issues. Giving your patient all of their options up front might increase adherence since, often, patients are reluctant to try another mask-type treatment after a bad experience.

There are three main types of masks:

Nasal pillows

These are situated under the nose, close to the nostrils’ entrance. Patients who wear glasses may utilize nasal pillows without having their eyesight blocked.

Masks that hide the face

Lips and the nose are enclosed by full-face masks. They are a good alternative for those who breathe through their lips.

Nasal shields

Nasal masks, which cover the nose, are more compact and lightweight than full-face masks. Additionally, they provide greater security than a nasal cushion.

Make sure to go through the benefits and drawbacks of each kind so that your patients will know which mask is best for them.

Consistent Check-Ins & Support Services

Make sure you often ask new CPAP users how they feel about the treatment and keep track of their adherence so that, in the event that it starts to fall, you can address any problematic behaviors as soon as possible.

It could seem strange and baffling to have to wear a mask every night in order to sleep. Numerous changes are occurring in the health of your patients. By being there for them and empathetic, you can ensure that they feel as comfortable as possible during their treatment. Kids will also find it easier to speak to you about problems or difficulties if they do have them.

Start Small

Do not immediately demand that new CPAP users who are having trouble adhering to the sleep apnea therapy wear the mask all night. Encourage them to wear the mask for a little bit longer each night to ease them into it. Set them small, manageable goals as they get closer to wearing the mask all the time. For instance, kids could practice putting on their mask while they are still awake.

First, they may put the mask over their faces without fastening it. Once they are comfortable, they could try putting the straps and the mask on. They can test holding the mask against their faces with the hose connected after turning on the ramp function and choosing the low-pressure setting on the device. They have to do this when they are awake. Once they feel comfortable enough, they might try sleeping with the mask on.

Do you experience any of these?

A Snoring History Many individuals snore, however not all snorers have sleep apnea. Some individuals only sometimes snore, such as after a few beers or a few glasses of wine. That isn’t really unusual. But the majority of those who suffer sleep apnea snore. As a result, it often serves as a sign of the illness. Pathological snoring may be distinguished from regular snoring by a few factors, including: the level of force, volume, and frequency. Snoring is most likely not a symptom of a health problem if it just occurs sometimes. It is far more likely that you have sleep apnea if you snore loudly every night. Because it is so loud, some physicians refer to the snoring linked to sleep apnea as “destructive snoring.”

Dr. Malhotra said, “I’ve had patients whose children are on a separate story of the home and they can still hear them snoring.” “I’ve had patients whose next-door neighbors would complain about their snoring,”

Daytime sleepiness: You may have sleep apnea if you need many cups of coffee merely to get through the day. People with it regularly wake up in the middle of the night by their interrupted breathing, which causes them to fall asleep at inappropriate times and places, such as when driving or working.

Dr. Malhotra observed that while many individuals claim they are not drowsy throughout the day, the amount of coffee they consume is substantial. Even though tiredness is a typical symptom, many individuals who are caffeine-pumped don’t fall asleep at inappropriate times.

Witness Apnea: Some individuals with sleep apnea are only made aware of it by their spouses. It is known as “witness apnea” by doctors. According to Dr. Kryger, “a typical reason individuals are referred is because their bed partner is afraid—not of the snoring, but of the stillness in between it. It’s absolutely scary. It suggests that they are genuinely ceasing to breathe. When others see it, they often say things like, “My God, something is wrong with this individual. They can’t breathe,’

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure: This relationship between the two conditions is well-known. According to some professionals, the connection is reciprocal: You are more likely to develop high blood pressure if you have sleep apnea, and high blood pressure exacerbates the condition. It’s a risky cycle. Because of how closely related the two are, there is a strong likelihood that if you have hypertension, you also have sleep apnea. Hypertension affects more than half of all sufferers of severe sleep apnea. Additionally, sleep apnea is more common than 80% among persons with resistant hypertension, meaning their blood pressure stays high after taking various medicines. The bottom line: Sleep apnea may also exist if you have excessive blood pressure.

Other indications that you may have sleep apnea include:

  • Sleep issues or recurring awakenings
  • a painful throat upon waking; frequent morning headaches; and drowsiness throughout the day. Having trouble focusing Forgetfulness.

Have it examined

The most crucial action you should take if you think you may have sleep apnea is to see a specialist. Talk to a sleep medicine expert or your health care physician about your symptoms. A sleep test, which may be completed either at home or in a lab, will probably be scheduled for you by your doctor.

For the standard sleep test, also known as a polysomnogram, you must spend the night in a sleep lab. There, you’ll be connected to a number of devices that monitor and record your heart rate, respiration, blood oxygen levels, and brain waves as you sleep. You will be asked to return to the lab a second time if the study reveals that you have sleep apnea so that you can be fitted for a CPAP machine, or continuous positive airway pressure, which gently blows air into your airway at night to keep it open.

These basic tips can reduce your sleep apnea

Although millions of people have sleep apnea, few people get it tested because they believe that snoring constantly is normal. The most prevalent kind of undiagnosed sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. By temporarily obstructing your airway and causing you to snort while you sleep, OSA is caused by soft tissues in your throat and jaw moving backward.

In addition to snoring, untreated OSA may cause additional problems. Over time, many patients begin to experience additional symptoms such recurrent headaches, brain fog, insomnia, and daytime drowsiness. They could even start performing badly on routine chores and at work.

First things first If you often snore or believe you may have OSA, discuss this with your dentist or physician for a test. If sleep apnea is suspected, a professional will be contacted to make a diagnosis. In order to assist you cope with the symptoms of sleep apnea while you await a diagnosis, here are some useful recommendations. You may continue to use these recommendations in addition to CPAP or other OSA therapies!

1. Consider different sleeping postures.

Sleeping on your back is a substantial contributor to snoring, even in mild cases of OSA. To determine which sleeping position is most comfortable, try out several pillows. If you often sleep on your back, switching to your side may significantly lessen snoring. Additionally, try sleeping with your head slightly elevated.

2. Maintain a healthy weight.

Controlling OSA symptoms depends heavily on maintaining a healthy weight. If you are overweight, a wise first step is to lose weight via exercise and a healthy diet. But be kind to yourself and be aware of your body. Untreated OSA often causes extreme fatigue and may make exercise challenging.

If exercising is difficult for you, focus first on other OSA treatment options. As your health improves, begin boosting your regular exercise.

3. Add a humidifier to the space.

A dry environment may have adverse side effects such dry mouth, uncomfortable breathing, and congestion in addition to escalating the symptoms of OSA. The humidity will rise all night if a humidifier is positioned next to your bed. You’ll experience increased breathing comfort and clarity, both of which help to minimize snoring.

4. Give up smoking and consuming alcohol.

The use of tobacco products, vaping, and excessive alcohol consumption not only harms your overall health but also exacerbates OSA and other types of sleep apnea. If you regularly use alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or do both, think about quitting. Your doctor can help you find alternatives to cease these behaviors in a beneficial, healthy manner.

5. Avoid using over-the-counter tranquilizers.

Patients with OSA often have issues with their sleep medicines. Because OSA may make it difficult to get asleep and stay asleep, many patients utilize over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids or supplements. But over-the-counter sleeping medications and even natural sleep aids like melatonin weren’t developed with sleep apnea in mind, and over time, they could exacerbate your OSA symptoms.

If you just can’t go asleep without some kind of medicine, talk to your doctor to come up with a safe solution.

6. Consult your doctor about any allergies you may have.

Without the sufferer’s knowledge, OSA and allergies may coexist. If you experience chronic snoring along with congestion, a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or other classic allergy symptoms, your body may be reacting to an environmental allergen. Your doctor could help you locate an over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medication to aid with your symptoms and make managing your OSA symptoms easier.

7. Use an app to monitor the quality of your sleep.

If you have access to the app store on your phone, there are a variety of different sleep-tracking tools available. You may use them to monitor your sleep quality digitally after receiving a sleep apnea diagnosis or to help your dentist or doctor do a sleep apnea test. Additionally, many contemporary CPAP equipment now come with accompanying apps that show your sleep data. There are even programs designed specifically for people with OSA.

8. Regularly do throat exercises.

The muscles in the throat may become stronger with exercises for the lungs and throat. Deep breathing exercises are calming and may improve your breathing, especially when done before bed. Exercises for the throat and even frequent singing may increase lung capacity and muscle strength. You now have a great excuse to sing loudly in the car or in the shower!

9. Eat a balanced diet with a focus on whole foods.

Eating a balanced, nutritious diet has several advantages, one of which is maintaining a healthy weight. The nutrition your body utilizes to function has a big impact on how you feel and how well you sleep. While sometimes indulging in sweets is OK, try to focus your main meals and snacks on healthful, less processed foods. Eating whole, natural foods may help you effortlessly meet your daily vitamin and mineral needs.

10. Consult your dentist about oral appliances.

In addition to your doctor, there are other healthcare specialists that can help you with your OSA. Your dentist also plays a significant role. In order to help patients manage their symptoms, a dentist may do OSA tests, suggest that they be diagnosed, and possibly provide OSA therapy. Many people utilize these oral appliances at night. The most often used appliance is a mandibular advancement device, which gently moves the jaw to prevent soft tissues in the neck from slipping back into the airway.

Final thoughts

Sleep disruptions may be quite significant since they may result in health issues. Most individuals who have different types of sleep issues aren’t aware of them until they become worse. It could affect physiological immunological and psychological health systems. You may gasp for breath as you sleep and suddenly awaken if you have a condition called sleep apnea. Those who suffer sleep apnea deal with symptoms including breathlessness and others that are associated. Due to the disease’s ability to sound like snoring, patients may not be aware that they have stopped breathing, which could be fatal.

Detective measures for sleep apnea

Even if you get enough sleep, if you often wake up with a headache or feel as if you are continually weary throughout the day, you may have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is common and, if untreated, might have serious health consequences. As a sleep medicine specialist, it is essential to me to not only educate my patients about the potentially serious risk that sleep apnea presents to their overall health, but also to provide them the treatment options that are most appropriate for their unique situations.

What is sleep apnea?

When sleeping, a person with sleep apnea stops breathing. Throughout the course of the night, these pauses may happen up to 400 times and last ranging from a few seconds to more than a minute. They may be observed occasionally, but they can sometimes go unseen.

The kind of sleep apnea that is most common is obstructive sleep apnea. When someone is asleep, their airway is blocked by their tongue or other throat tissues. As a result, airflow is constrained or stopped, making breathing more difficult.

Why does it matter so much?

Even a little delay in breathing may cause loud snoring and disrupt sleep. As a consequence, you feel tired or irritable throughout the day. But I make sure to explain to my patients that occasionally the effects are far more severe.

Sleep apnea deprives the body of oxygen. The body’s immune system reacts by triggering inflammation when tissues are damaged by pathogens, trauma, toxins, heat, or any other factor, including insufficient oxygen. It’s possible that the blood’s lower oxygen content may increase inflammation. The body then releases chemicals that cause blood vessels to leak fluid into tissues, which results in swelling.

Short-lived (acute) inflammation is distinct from chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation may result in serious, lifelong health problems. Sleep apnea and chronic inflammation have been linked. As a result, if it is left untreated, it may raise the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other illnesses.

Detective measures for sleep apnea

Are you at risk?

Sleep apnea affects people of all ages, even those who are otherwise healthy, like me. However, the risk does grow with age. The way we breathe when we sleep is impacted by aging-related structural changes in the brain. This may be one reason why the risk of sleep apnea rises with age.

Another possibility is that as we age, our necks and tongues tend to develop more fatty tissue.

People are also more likely to develop sleep apnea if they have high blood pressure, use alcohol or sedatives, have certain physical traits like large tonsils or nasal polyps, have a wide neck circumference, or are obese.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

I often notice a few sleep apnea symptoms. Patients often ask for my opinion on problems like:

Snoring that is unbearably loud; gasping or choking noises. 

These might be so loud that you wake up from them. Other times, your roommate or bedmate may be the one paying attention.

Always feeling exhausted or waking up with a headache. 

You can have trouble going asleep and staying awake all day if your breathing stops. When your airway is obstructed, your blood vessels expand, your carbon dioxide levels rise, and your oxygen levels drop. This may cause headaches in the morning.

Having trouble concentrating, feeling irritated, depressed, or both. 

Your mental and emotional health depend on getting enough sleep. Your memory, ability to learn, and ability to think may all be affected by sleep deprivation.

How Does Sleep Apnea Develop in Your Body and Throat?

The most common type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, is caused by excessive relaxation of the throat muscles and the soft tissues in the back of the throat, including the tonsils, tongue, and adenoids (the tissue that sits just behind the nose high up in the throat). This repeatedly blocks the upper airway while you are sleeping. 

The tissues called children’s adenoids, which sit high in the throat, serve as a kind of germ-trap. They normally diminish by the time individuals reach their teen years.

Although not all snorers have sleep apnea, those who do often snore loudly.

As soon as your brain notices you are not getting enough oxygen, it signals your body to breathe. A person with obstructive sleep apnea may snort, cough, gasp, or act as if they are choking before they are able to breathe properly again.

According to MedlinePlus, a distinct, far less common kind of sleep apnea arises when your brain is unable to properly connect with the breathing muscles.

It is more common in people who have conditions like a brain infection, a stroke, heart failure, or who use certain drugs like opioids or benzodiazepines.

The third kind of sleep apnea is known as complex sleep apnea syndrome, and it is characterized by both central and obstructive sleep apnea, according to a report published in Chest in October 2016.

Although this kind of apnea has just recently been identified as a condition, the fundamental reasons are still unclear.

Detective measures for sleep apnea

Who is Susceptible to Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea may affect anybody, but certain groups of individuals are more likely to develop it due to particular risk factors. These risk elements consist of:

history of sleep apnea in the family. Ask your family members whether they have been diagnosed with sleep apnea since genetics play a part in OSA.

large neck measurement. A person’s airways may be more surrounded by fat if their neck is broader or thicker, which might put pressure on them at night and interfere with breathing.

Age. Older men and women are more likely to have sleep apnea, and aging may raise the chance of getting OSA. However, persons of any age or gender might still develop this illness.

imbalances in hormones. Acromegaly and hypothyroidism are two disorders that may enhance risk.

certain neurological disorders. Those who have neurological diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s may be more susceptible to getting CSA.

Three ways to diagnose sleep apnea without a sleep study

A sleep study is one of the many methods doctors may find out whether a patient has sleep apnea. A sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, entails spending the night in a facility that can track your breathing.

However, individuals who feel uncomfortable spending nights away from home or who don’t have a lab close by could find sleep studies bothersome. Fortunately, physicians can diagnose you in various ways. A physician could

Check you out and assess your symptoms. Doctors might examine you for edema or check for obstructions in your airway. They may also aid in excluding other potential illnesses. Additionally, qualified dentists like those on the staff at Muscaro & Martini Dentistry may assist in screening you for sleep apnea and provide advice.

Apply an app. Snoring may be monitored using a number of different smartphone applications. These applications often record you at night while listening for loud noises. These applications may also pick up other noises, such as road noise, but they cannot pick up sleep apnea that doesn’t include snoring.

prescribe a sleep test for at-home use. In an at-home test, your heart rate, airflow, and breathing patterns are measured using a tiny monitoring equipment. However, certain instances may not always be correctly picked up, therefore your doctor may combine this with additional screening techniques.

Therapy Alternatives

The greatest sleep apnea treatments have already been discussed. In summary, physicians and dentists advise using four major therapies to control this problem.

oral devices. These simple, detachable devices resemble the bite guards used to prevent teeth grinding. The jaw or tongue are held in position by oral appliances for sleep apnea to avoid obstruction of the airways. For individuals who qualify, we at Muscaro & Martini Dentistry prescribe oral appliances.

PAP devices. With the use of a specific mask, positive airway pressure (PAP) devices may be used at night to encourage airflow. The CPAP machine is the most popular variety, however APAP and BiPAP equipment are also available. PAP machines may be useful, but some individuals find them to be large and difficult to wear.

Changes in lifestyle and sleep habits. Some people get relief by decreasing body fat, increasing their exercise, and exclusively sleeping on their sides. If you have problems managing your sleep apnea, though, it’s crucial to speak with a doctor since it’s possible for sleep apnea to remain despite lifestyle modifications.

Surgery. A deviated septum or inflammation in the tissue at the back of the throat may sometimes be the cause of sleep apnea. Surgery may assist with certain problems, but it is normally only used as a last resort if all other options have failed.

The Benefits of a Sleep Apnea Dentist

We are committed to assisting our patients in overcoming the symptoms of their sleep apnea. When alternative treatments have failed, we assist patients in becoming comfortable using handy oral devices that are simple to use.

Schedule a consultation with us right now to learn more about how we can help you manage your sleep apnea or visit our sleep apnea website to read about our state-of-the-art treatment options. We are eager to meet you and assist you in having a better night’s sleep!

When should you request help?

The diagnosis of sleep apnea may be difficult to make on your own. And it’s easy to blame fatigue, headaches, impatience, stress, or other factors for the issue. If you often feel tired despite going to bed at a normal time or if your roommate or sleeping partner complains about your snoring, it’s imperative that you see a sleep specialist.

I do a physical examination initially when a patient discloses symptoms that mimic sleep apnea. It often includes looking for risk variables like those I just mentioned.

Final thoughts

The interruptions are usually so brief that most people don’t even realize they’ve been awakened during the night, but this persistent disruption of the regular sleep cycle can make people feel exhausted and sleepy during the day and put them at a higher risk for health issues linked to sleep deprivation and lower blood oxygen levels while sleeping, such as irritability, memory or concentration issues, anxiety, and depression.

Do you know what obstructive sleep apnea is?

The muscles at the back of your throat relax, which causes this to happen. The tonsils, the side walls of the throat, the tongue, and the soft palate are all supported by these muscles. These muscles also help to maintain the uvula, a triangular piece of tissue that hangs from the soft palate.

Your airway narrows or possibly closes entirely when you take a breath in as the muscles in your airway loosen up. Because you aren’t getting enough air, your blood’s oxygen content may start to decline. When your brain notices that you can’t breathe, it briefly awakens you up so you can clear your airway and start breathing normally again. This epiphany often happens so quickly that you don’t remember experiencing it.

You could choke, snort, or gasp for breath that is what how does sleep apnea happen. You may experience this cycle anywhere from five to thirty or more times each hour during the whole night, making it difficult for you to drift off into the deeper, more restful phases of sleep.

Central snoring

When your brain is unable to communicate with your breathing muscles, you continually stop breathing while you sleep. This less common kind of sleep apnea occurs. This shows that for a little period of time, you do not make any attempt to breathe. You could discover that you have problems staying asleep, falling asleep in the first place, or staying asleep at all.

Do you know what obstructive sleep apnea is?

Factors that affect risk

The effects of sleep apnea may affect anybody, including young children. But there are other factors that increase your risk.

Some of the risk factors for this kind of sleep apnea include the following:

  • Growing older: Central sleep apnea is more likely to affect those who are middle-aged or older.
  • Being a man: Males are more likely than females to suffer from central sleep apnea.
  • Heart conditions: Stroke risk is increased by congestive heart failure.
  • Using narcotic painkillers: Using opioid medications, especially those with a prolonged duration of action like methadone, is linked to an increased risk of central sleep apnea.
  • Stroke: If you have previously had a stroke, your risk of developing central sleep apnea or treatment-emergent central sleep apnea is enhanced.


The medical condition known as sleep apnea is risky.

It’s possible to feel exhausted throughout the day when difficulties occur.

It is challenging to achieve a normal, restful night’s sleep because of the frequent awakenings linked to sleep apnea. The chance of feeling severe daytime fatigue, tiredness, and irritation thus rises.

It’s probable that you won’t be able to concentrate and that you’ll start nodding off at work, in front of the TV, or even while driving. Accidents on the road and at work are more likely to occur in those with sleep apnea.

Additionally, you can have mood fluctuations, despair, or irritation. Children and teenagers who have sleep apnea may have behavioral problems or do poorly in school.

The most prevalent kind of sleep-related breathing problems, or sleep disorders with irregular breathing during sleep, is OSA. In addition to obstructive sleep apnea, there are three more sleep-related breathing diseases that are distinct from OSA in terms of their etiology and symptoms.

  • Central sleep apnea (CSA): This disease causes recurrent nighttime breathing pauses in sufferers. In contrast to OSA, CSA is brought on by a deficiency in the brain impulses that regulate breathing. Some persons have sleep apnea episodes that resemble both CSA and OSA.
  • Disorders of sleep-related hypoventilation: When this condition occurs, a person’s breathing is insufficient to maintain the proper amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. While a person may have both OSA and a sleep-related hypoventilation disease, OSA patients often have a shorter duration of abnormal oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
  • Sleep-related hypoxemia disorder: If a person has low blood oxygen levels that are not brought on by OSA or another sleep-related breathing issue, they may be diagnosed with this condition.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea

It may be difficult for a person to notice OSA symptoms while they are sleeping, and it may take years for them to do so and seek medical attention. Excessive daytime fatigue, comments from loved ones, or symptoms in the morning are some of the early warning signs of obstructive sleep apnea.

  • Excessive daytime drowsiness: The most frequent medical cause of excessive daytime sleepiness is OSA. People who have OSA may nod off when doing boring things like reading or watching TV, and they may need coffee to stave off chronic drowsiness.
  • Snoring or apnea is observed: Obstructive sleep apnea symptoms are often initially noticed by a loved one, caregiver, or bed partner. They could hear a sleeper gasp, choke, snort, or cease breathing while they are asleep, or they might hear loud, bothersome snoring.
  • Morning symptoms: Signs of underlying OSA include waking up with a headache, dry mouth, or the desire to pee. Most days, morning headaches might continue for hours.

Heart-related conditions or high blood pressure

A spike in blood pressure and stress on the cardiovascular system may come from the abrupt drops in blood oxygen levels that occur as a consequence of sleep apnea. You have a higher risk of getting high blood pressure if you have obstructive sleep apnea (hypertension).

Additionally, having obstructive sleep apnea increases your risk of a second heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heartbeats like atrial fibrillation. Multiple episodes of low blood oxygen levels, also known as hypoxia or hypoxemia, might increase your risk of sudden cardiac arrest and death if you already have heart issues.

Do you know what obstructive sleep apnea is?

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance are both diseases that are more prone to develop in those who have sleep apnea.

Metabolic syndrome symptoms.

This illness is linked to a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and may be recognized by symptoms including high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, excessive blood sugar, and an expanded waist circumference.

Complications brought on by medication usage or surgery

Additionally, when taking some medications or receiving general anesthesia, there is a chance of developing obstructive sleep apnea. When under anesthesia and lying on their backs during major surgery, people with sleep apnea are more prone to have breathing problems. They are more prone to have difficulties after the treatment as a result.

Before having surgery, discuss your sleep apnea with your surgeon and the therapy you’re getting for it.

Liver problems.

People who have sleep apnea are more likely to get abnormal liver function test findings and to experience scarring symptoms in their livers (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease).

Snoring partner.

Very loud snoring could make it difficult for others who are sleeping close to have a good night’s sleep. Due to the presence of their sleeping partner, it is fairly uncommon for one spouse to need to sleep in a separate room or even on a different floor of the house.

Obstructive snoring

One of the risk factors that may increase the probability of having this kind of sleep apnea is being overweight. Obese people have a noticeably higher risk of getting sleep apnea. People may have trouble breathing if there are fat deposits around their upper airway.

  • The neck’s circumference: People with bigger necks may have more constrained airways.
  • A blockage in the airway: You could have inherited your short neck from your parents. Children are more prone than adults to have enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which may obstruct the airway.
  • Being a man: Males are two to three times as likely than females to have sleep apnea. However, it seems that a woman’s risk of breast cancer rises after menopause and climbs more if she is overweight.
  • Age: Adults over 60 have a much higher chance of getting sleep apnea.
  • The family’s history: If your family has a history of sleep apnea, your risk of having it may be enhanced.
  • Use of sedatives, tranquilizers, or alcoholic beverages: These substances might make your obstructive sleep apnea worse because they relax the muscles in your throat.
  • Smoking: Compared to current smokers, those who have never smoked have a considerably decreased chance of acquiring obstructive sleep apnea. When a person smokes, it is possible for inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway to worsen.
  • Nasal passage congestion: If you have problems breathing through your nose, whether because of an anatomical problem or allergies, you are more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Physical disorders in people: Numerous conditions have been linked to a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea, including Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure. The probability of developing polycystic ovary syndrome may be increased by hormonal imbalances, a history of stroke, chronic lung diseases like asthma, and others.

See also: Detective measures for sleep apnea