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All Posts Tagged: elder care

Treatments for Sleep Apnea: Surgical Procedures

shutterstock_246741289For people who suffer from sleep apnea, a poor night’s sleep can be just the beginning. Although they may not remember instances of waking, most people with sleep apnea wake up several times an hour when their breathing is interrupted. In mild to moderate sleep apnea, breathing cessation, and its associated waking or change in sleep, may occur five or more times an hour. In severe sleep apnea, the affected person may wake more than thirty times every hour. This constant interruption in sleep can have far-reaching health consequences: people with sleep apnea are likely to suffer from daytime fatigue, which can result in mood disorders, on-the-job injuries, motor vehicle crashes, and a generally lower quality of life. Additionally, people with sleep apnea are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Because of the potentially serious health problems that can result from untreated sleep apnea, it is essential for people with this disorder to seek help.

For some people with sleep apnea, lifestyle changes, like losing weight, quitting smoking, or reducing alcohol consumption can dramatically improve their symptoms, or even cure the disorder. For others, lifestyle changes are insufficient; in these cases, special dental appliances, pillows and supports, or even assisted breathing devices like CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines are necessary to control sleep apnea.

When other treatments fail, surgery might be indicated as a last-resort option for sleep apnea treatment. Tissue removal is sometimes successful in relieving symptoms of sleep apnea, such as snoring. In this procedure, soft tissue is removed from the back of the mouth and throat, widening the airway and reducing the vibration that causes snoring. However, this treatment isn’t always successful at treating the root cause of sleep apnea, as tissues deeper in the throat may still block the airway. For people with mild sleep apnea, the implantation of plastic rods into the soft tissues of the throat can help to stabilize the airway. A more radical option is jaw repositioning, which moves the jaw forward and creates more space in the airway, decreasing the likelihood of obstruction. Finally, for people with extremely severe, life-threatening sleep apnea, tracheostomy, in which a tube is inserted through the neck into the trachea, effectively creating a new airway, is sometimes used.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for sleeping problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

General Home Care New York

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Sleep Apnea Stroke

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Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects many Americans from all walks of life. Although it is more prevalent among certain segments of the population (men, smokers, overweight individuals, and those of Hispanic or African American descent tend to be more susceptible to the disorder), anyone can suffer from sleep apnea. In contrast to many other sleep disorders, which may cause insomnia or difficulty staying asleep, sleep apnea causes repeated waking or changes in sleep due to episodes of breathing cessation. People with obstructive sleep apnea (the most common form) experience interruptions in breathing due to blockages of the airway, whereas people with central sleep apnea (a rarer form of the condition) stop breathing temporarily because of signaling errors in areas of the brain that control breathing.

Although many people think of snoring as sleep apnea’s characteristic symptom, it can actually have much more serious consequences. Snoring is an annoyance – especially for bed partners of sleep apnea sufferers – but it is by no means the only, or the most serious, outcome of the disorder. In fact, although they are often associated, not everyone with sleep apnea will experience snoring. A range of potentially serious health problems can result from untreated sleep apnea, however, including an increased risk of stroke.

People with sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, which in turn elevates the risk of stroke. Repeated interruptions in sleep during the night can trigger a nervous system response that causes blood pressure to soar. People of all ages who have sleep apnea are at an increased risk for stroke. However, in older adults, for whom the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke is already higher, the association between untreated sleep apnea and stroke is of particular concern. Taking steps to detect sleep apnea early, and to begin treatment as soon as possible, is essential in mediating the risk of stroke and other health problems associated with the condition.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care for sleeping problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

General Home Care New York

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