When you have sleep apnea, your breathing pauses while you sleep. This can happen many times each night. These pauses last 10-20 seconds. It is estimated that 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
Chronic snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea. If you snore often you should be evaluated by your health care provider. Sleep apnea can disturb sleep and can lead to low blood oxygen levels. Left untreated, sleep apnea may lead to:
There are both personal biology and personal behavior factors that can lead to sleep apnea.
If you think you may have sleep apnea see a health care provider. One thing you can do to get ready for your appointment is make a sleep journal.
Keep a sleep journal, for at least a week. Each day write down:
This will help you health care provider decide the best care plan for you.
The best treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP (continuous positive air pressure device). This is a mask worn while you sleep. The mask provides positive pressure in your airway. This helps keep your airway open.
For milder sleep apnea a mouth piece may be worn. During sleep the mouth piece repositions the lower jaw to keep the airway open. In rare cases, surgery is sometimes used to remove excess tissue from the airway.
If you feel you may have from sleep apnea see your provider care. Getting enough good sleep is essential to leading a healthy life.
Central sleep apnea. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER)
Obstructive sleep apnea. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER)
Obstructive Sleep Apnea. American Sleep Apnea Association. 2008.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. May 31, 2007. http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/obstructive-sleep-apnea/DS00968/METHOD=print&DSECTION=all. Accessed July 23, 2012.
Sleep Apnea. Family Doctor website. September 2000. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea.html, 2000. Accessed July 23, 2012
Authored by: Nikole Allen, MPHc