Alaska Sleep Education Center

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Prevalence, Causes, and Symptoms

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Mar 17, 2020 7:15:00 AM

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Do you find yourself waking often in the middle of the night gasping for breath? Are you chronically tired during the day and often fight to stay awake? Or has your partner told you that you snore loudly every night and often stop breathing in your sleep? At The Alaska Sleep Clinic we receive questions like these all the time. And like our patients, if you've answered yes to any of these questions, you could possibly be suffering from a medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA).

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Topics: sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP, Snoring

5 Most Effective Central Sleep Apnea Treatments

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Jan 18, 2020 1:10:00 AM

Unlike sleep disorders that are easier to diagnose and understand, central sleep apnea (CSA) can be baffling.

CSA patients might not snore, may be at their ideal weight, and may have not had a history of sleep disorders yet still find themselves with the condition characterized by pauses in breathing many times during the night.

Central sleep apnea is a neurological condition—in other words, the brain is not sending the correct signals to the respiratory system to keep breathing while the patient sleeps. Sometimes another medical condition causes CSA; sometimes, pain medication can lead to it; and sometimes, the apnea occurs for no known reason.

Whatever the cause, treatments are available for central sleep apnea. Here five of the most effective ways to help the CSA patient:

Central Sleep Apnea Treatments

  1. Treating the medical condition that is also causing central sleep apnea. Congestive heart failure or the aftermath of a stroke can interfere with night-time breathing and lead to CSA. The solution here is simple: Treat the heart failure or the stroke and the apnea will likely subside.
  2. Cutting back or eliminating the use of opiods. Studies have proved that more powerful pain medications such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone can cause central sleep apnea. Reducing the dosage or not taking them altogether can help, but discussing this option with your doctor and with a sleep specialist is important. Pain medications do just that—help with pain, and trying to fix the apnea might not be worth additional suffering when you are awake.
  3. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). More commonly associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a CPAP device can also help CSA sufferers, particularly those who are recovering from heart failure. With this treatment, the patient wears a mask that continuously delivers a constant pressure of air to the lungs, thus countering any inclination the body might have to pause breathing.
  4. Bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP). This is another treatment used for OSA sufferers that can be effective for central sleep apnea patients. Similar to a CPAP mask, a BPAP device adjusts the amount of air delivered to the lungs depending on whether the patient is inhaling or exhaling.
  5. Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV). Yet another device that uses a mask, ASV goes one step further by continuously detecting and adjusting to the patient’s breathing needs and delivering the correct amount of oxygen. If the user is breathing fine, the device reduces the air it provides. It the patient’s breathing begins to pause, ASV increases the oxygen.
  6. Phrenic Nerve Stimulation.  Phrenic Nerve Stimulation is a new FDA-approved therapy for moderate to severe central sleep apnea in adult patients.  Phrenic nerve stimulation is delivered by a pacemaker-like implantable device that stimulates a nerve in the chest (phrenic nerve) to send signals to the diaphragm to control breathing.  It monitors respiratory signals while you sleep and helps restore normal breathing patterns. Because the device is implantable and turns on automatically during sleep, it does not require wearing a mask.


    Phrenic nerve stimulation allows normal breathing to resume by stabilizing carbon dioxide, preventing apneic events and the subsequent period of rapid breathing.


     

    Of course, the most effective treatment will vary from patient to patient, so discussing these options with a sleep specialist is crucial in determining how best to alleviate central sleep apnea.

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Topics: obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disorders, CPAP, BPAP

Sleep Apnea IS a Big Deal

Posted by SleepApnea.org on Jan 5, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Bill's Personal Story about Sleep Apnea

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Topics: insomnia, Narcolepsy, CPAP, poor sleep

Traveling  with CPAP

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Dec 23, 2019 2:12:25 PM

Living with sleep apnea often includes using a CPAP machine, which helps keep airways open throughout the night. While the CPAP can dramatically improve your symptoms, it can also make traveling a bit of a headache. That said, don’t be tempted to leave the machine at home—you'll risk feeling tired on your trip. It’s actually easier than you might think to bring it with you—just follow this guide.

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Topics: sleep apnea, CPAP, travel

How The Holidays Affect Your Sleep

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Dec 18, 2019 9:51:00 AM

The holiday season can be kind of a mixed bag. While it's often a wonderful time of year to celebrate with family and friends, it can also be expensive, stressful, and busier than busy.

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Topics: CPAP, travel, holiday stress

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