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Sleep Apnea Therapy in Fort Lauderdale

What is Sleep Apnea?

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Of the three, obstructive is by far the most common. Despite the causative differences of each type, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep. This may happen hundreds of times during the night and can often last for a minute or longer. In central sleep apnea, the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. Mixed apnea is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious condition in which the sufferer stops breathing during sleep due to a completely blocked airway, sometimes for up to a minute at a time. OSA is an extremely serious condition that can result in extremely fragmented and of poor quality sleep, and should be treated by a qualified physician.

Who has OSA?

OSA occurs in 24% of men and 9% of women,* which is approximately as often as adult diabetes. Although sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, it is usually between the ages of 45-65. Due to a lack of public awareness, the vast majority of sufferers remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated despite the fact that the disorder can have serious medical consequences.

The Cycle of OSA

  1. The sufferer falls asleep.
  2. Muscle tone in the body relaxes.
  3. The airway narrows and/or collapses, causing breathing to be difficult or impossible. The collapse of the airway may cause loud snoring, snorts, pauses in airflow, and labored breathing.
  4. Oxygen levels begin to fall.
  5. They continue to struggle for breath, sometimes for up to a minute.
  6. The heart rate falls below normal, and there is decreased oxygenated blood to pump through the body.
  7. The brain senses low oxygen/high carbon dioxide levels and releases jolt of adrenaline in an attempt to awaken their brain and body and prevent suffocation.
  8. The sufferer awakens briefly and takes five or six large breaths breathing in oxygen and blowing off excess carbon dioxide (CO2). The sufferer typically does not remember arousal but often repositions him or herself on the bed.
  9. The heart rate speeds up in response to the rush of adrenaline and is now pumping above normal heart rate.
  10. The oxygen/carbon dioxide levels return to near normal and their brain allows sleeping to resume.
  11. The sufferer falls asleep and the cycle repeats

How do I know if I have OSA?

The best way to find out if you suffer from sleep apnea is to have a sleep study conducted either in a hospital or in your home. There are several symptoms of OSA which include:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Poor concentration/memory
  • Depression
  • Morning headaches
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux
  • Sore, dry throat on waking
  • Being accident prone
  • Increased cholesterol
  • Hypertension

Consequences of OSA

The consequences of OSA can be very serious and include an increased risk in motor vehicle and work related accidents and poor job performance. It can also lead to family tension, an irritated bed partner and a general decrease in the quality of life.

The Epworth Sleepiness Test

Take the Epworth Sleepiness test to see whether you may have a problem with daytime sleepiness.

How severe is my OSA?

The severity of OSA is measured by three variables:

  • Blood oxygen level, the presence of daytime sleepiness and the number of apneic episodes per hour-also known as an Apnea/Hypopnea Index (AHI).
  • An AHI of 5-15/hr is considered mild sleep apnea.
  • An AHI of 16-30/hr is considered moderate sleep apnea
  • An AHI of +30/hr is considered severe

If you think Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment could help, contact The Kodish Group for more information on Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment.