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All Posts Tagged: elder

Treatments for Sleep Apnea: Breathing Machines

shutterstock_259717121Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of Americans from all walks of life. Despite the fact that it is so prevalent, it is widely misunderstood, and often goes untreated. Sleep apnea occurs when breathing is interrupted during sleep. The most common kind, obstructive sleep apnea, is due to blockage of the airway by soft tissue in the throat. Certain health factors, like smoking and obesity, increase the risk for this type of apnea (though not everyone with obstructive sleep apnea is a smoker or overweight). Much rarer is central sleep apnea, a condition in which signaling errors in the parts of the brain that control breathing cause breathing to momentarily stop during sleep.

Left untreated, both kinds of sleep apnea can cause serious long-term health problems, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, as well as chronic daytime fatigue and associated problems. Lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and smoking cessation, can be helpful, but are not always enough to cure sleep apnea.

For moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea that are resistant to lifestyle changes and other kinds of treatment, assisted breathing machines and other devices can be very helpful. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines work by blowing slightly pressurized air through a mask fitted over the mouth and nose, just enough to keep the airway open and prevent obstruction. This treatment is indicated for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. BPAP (Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure) and ASV (Adaptive Servo Ventilation) machines work in a similar way, but provide different levels of pressure (more pressure on the inhale, less on the exhale) to tailor the machine to individual needs, and is particularly helpful for patients with central sleep apnea. Although they are often very effective at treating sleep apnea, many patients find the CPAP and BPAP devices uncomfortable. An alternative is EPAP (Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure). With EPAP, a small, single-use device covers each nostril; a valve in the device lets air move in easily, but forces air on the exhale through small holes, creating pressure that keeps the airway open.

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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Treatments for Sleep Apnea: Mechanical

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Sleep apnea is a chronic condition in which breathing is interrupted during sleep. The most common type, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when soft tissue in the throat blocks the airway, resulting in temporary breathing cessation. Sleep apnea can range from moderate (fewer than five instances of stopped breathing each hour) to severe (thirty or more breath stoppages in an hour), and can often have negative effects on health and quality of life, including daytime fatigue and snoring. Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious health consequences, including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other problems.

Although anyone can suffer from sleep apnea, there are certain genetic and lifestyle factors that can increase someone’s risk of having the disorder. Certain factors, such as gender and ethnic background (men, as well as people of Hispanic and African American origin, are more likely to have sleep apnea) cannot be controlled. However, other factors, such as smoking and obesity, can often be ameliorated or eliminated through lifestyle changes. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for sleep apnea. Quitting smoking can have a dramatic impact on sleep apnea, and can reduce or eliminate symptoms. Similarly, overweight individuals are at increased risk for sleep apnea. Losing weight can be tremendously helpful in controlling or eradicating the problem.

For some people, lifestyle changes are not enough to eliminate sleep apnea. For these individuals, mechanical means, such as special mouth appliances designed to be worn during sleep, special pillows, or CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) devices, can all be helpful in relieving symptoms of sleep apnea. Specially designed mouth guards can help to position the jaw in such a way as to keep the airway open. Wedge-shaped foam pillows can position the sleeper so that their upper body is elevated, which is helpful in eliminating airway obstruction. For people with more severe sleep apnea, a CPAP device works by blowing a continuous stream of pressurized air through a mask during sleep, forcing the airway open and preventing dangerous breath stoppages. Because of the risks posed by untreated sleep apnea, it’s important for sufferers to explore treatment options to find one that works for them.

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 Heart Issues

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Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects many Americans from all walks of life. Although it is frequently associated with certain populations (it is more prevalent in men, smokers, and overweight individuals, as well as within certain ethnic groups) it can affect anyone. Sleep apnea involves temporary cessation of breathing during sleep, and can range from mild (fewer than five instances every hour) to severe (more than thirty instances within an hour). Although many people associate sleep apnea with insomnia and snoring, when left untreated, it can have even more serious consequences – including an increased risk of heart problems.

Although no causal link between sleep apnea and heart disease has been established, studies have shown a correlation between the disorder and sudden cardiac arrest, arrhythmias, and other heart problems. Researchers have speculated that the changes in oxygen saturation in the blood caused by periodic stoppages in breathing throughout the night interfere with normal electrical patterns in the heart, increasing the risk of dangerous irregularities in rhythm that can lead to heart attack. Similarly, sleep apnea is associated with high blood pressure; periodic waking or changes in the sleep cycle are often accompanied by a spike in blood pressure, due to activation of the sympathetic nervous system. This in turn can put more stress on the heart.

There are other ways in which sleep apnea may be correlated with heart disease. Obesity is a strong risk factor for both sleep apnea and heart disease; addressing obesity may help to combat both problems at once. Although treating sleep apnea may not completely eliminate the risk of sudden cardiac arrest, heart failure, and other heart problems, addressing the disorder is an important step toward better heart health. Detecting and treating sleep apnea as early as possible may help to prevent or ameliorate potentially serious conditions like heart disease.

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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