Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The Symptoms and How to Treat it
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA?)
People who have OSA stop breathing repeatedly during sleep because the airway collapses.
OSA afflicts more than one million Canadians.
Airway collapse may be due to such factors as:
- A large tongue
- Extra tissue in the airway
- Decreased muscle tone holding the airway open
As a result, air is prevented from getting into the lungs. These pauses in breathing can happen 30 times or more per hour.
What are the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
OSA can occur in men, women and children of all ages and sizes. Most people who have OSA do not realize they suffer from the condition and it is usually noticed first by family members or bed partners.
If you have any of the following common symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, see your doctor:
- Feeling tired and fatigued
- Restless sleep
- Frequent urination at night
- Morning headaches
- Gasping or choking during sleep
Factors that can increase your risk or symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Weight Being overweight is a risk factor for sleep apnea
- Smoking Can make sleep apnea symptoms worse because it can irritate your throat and make you cough at night
- Use of Alcohol and sedatives/sleeping pills Alcohol and certain medications (sleeping pills and some pain medications) can make throat muscles relax more than normal. As a result, airways can get blocked. Alcohol and medications can also make it harder for your brain to “wake up” and register a lack of oxygen in the body. This can cause longer and more serious pauses in breathing
- Sleeping on your back Sleeping on your back lets gravity pull on the tissues at the back of your throat and neck. This can cause the upper airway to become narrow or collapse completely
What happens if Obstructive Sleep Apnea is left untreated?
Possible increased risk for:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease and heart attack
- Fatigue-related motor vehicle and work accidents
- Morning headaches
- Decreased quality of life
How to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea with CPAP
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is an effective and well accepted treatment for Sleep Apnea.
CPAP devices deliver air at a fixed pressure while you sleep, relieving the airway obstruction. As a result, you experience healthier sleep, feel less sleepy during the day and have more energy.
Other less common treatments include surgery and oral appliances, which may be effective with certain individuals.
Any treatment should consider, if needed: weight loss, exercises, avoidance of alcohol sedatives and hypnotics and sleeping on your side.
How Access Abilities can help treat your Sleep Apnea
With locations in Oakville and Toronto (Etobicoke) Access Abilities is your choice for treating Sleep Apnea in the GTA.
We work with the most trusted CPAP therapy equipment available on the market. Our experienced and caring CPAP Consultants will insure the success of your treatment.
Adjusting to your new CPAP equipment can be difficult.
Our highly trained staff with many years of experience will assist you in an professional, caring and patient manner to ensure your success.
Schedule a FREE CPAP Consultation
Contact us now to schedule your free appointment with Marion (Toronto/Etobicoke location) or Judy (Oakville location)
Your best night’s sleep is our passion! We look forward to hearing from you!