Sleep Apnea Symptoms and treatments

What is Sleep Apnea or OSA?

Sleep Apnea, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea, occurs when the walls of the throat come together during sleep and block the upper airways. This means breathing stops for a short (5-10 seconds) or a long time (60+ seconds). When the brain registers the lack of breathing and/or a drop in oxygen levels, it sends a ‘wake-up’ message until the sleeper stirs enough to reopen their airways. Typically, they are woken with a snort or gasp and then drift back to sleep, usually unaware of the small ‘wake-up’ period.


This pattern can repeat itself hundreds of times a night causing fragmented sleep and very little time spent in REM (deep) sleep.

 

Central Sleep Apnea is a form of breathing disturbance during sleep caused by a disruption to the nerve messages sent between the brain and body. The same sleep fragmentations occur.

Sleep-Apnea
  • Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:
  • Snoring
  • Pauses in breathing while sleeping, which may be noticed by other people
  • Morning headaches
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • High blood pressure
  • Depressed moods
  • Lack of energy
  • Poor concentration and forgetfulness
  • Contributing Causes of Sleep Apnea:
  • Obesity (BMI above 30)
  • Large alcohol consumption
  • Certain medications
  • Throat muscles collapsing during sleep
  • Nasal, pharyngeal congestion
  • Large tonsils, adenoids
  • Hypertension / hypothyroidism
  • If you wish to be tested for sleep apnea, please click here

    • The Degrees of Severity:

    Normal – Under 5 events per hour
    Mild – Between 5 and 15 events per hours
    Moderate – Between 15 and 30 events per hour
    Severe – Over 30 events per hour

    • Treatments for Sleep Apnea:

    A treatment for sleep apnea may include APAP or CPAP therapy where the client uses a machine and a mask which pumps air into the airway (nose/mouth) whilst they sleep. The positive air pressure is maintained in the airway keeping it from collapsing. This treatment is effective in reducing the number of sleep apnea events.

     

    The severity of sleep apnea can be reduced by:

     

    APAP and CPAP treatment
    Healthy lifestyle changes
    Weight loss
    Altering medications
    Reducing alcohol intake
    Quitting smoking (as this irritates the nasal lining)
    Some surgical options if recommended by an ear nose and throat specialist (ENT)
    A personally fitted oral appliance to move the lower jaw forward at night (mandibular splints)

     

    For those needing to use a machine for work purposes or to maintain the use of their driver’s license as discussed with their doctors, please refer to the file detailing Jets Law or the following link for more information.

    Licensing and Medical Fitness (https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/licensing/update/medical/fitness)

     

    Please contact the friendly staff at RRM if you have any questions at all regarding your sleep apnea testing or treatment.

    The Degrees of Severity:

    Normal – Under 5 events per hour
    Mild – Between 5 and 15 events per hours
    Moderate – Between 15 and 30 events per hour
    Severe – Over 30 events per hour

    Treatments for Sleep Apnea:

    A treatment for sleep apnea may include APAP or CPAP therapy where the client uses a machine and a mask which pumps air into the airway (nose/mouth) whilst they sleep. The positive air pressure is maintained in the airway keeping it from collapsing. This treatment is effective in reducing the number of sleep apnea events.

    The severity of sleep apnea can be reduced by:

    APAP and CPAP treatment
    Healthy lifestyle changes
    Weight loss
    Altering medications
    Reducing alcohol intake
    Quitting smoking (as this irritates the nasal lining)
    Some surgical options if recommended by an ear nose and throat specialist (ENT)
    A personally fitted oral appliance to move the lower jaw forward at night (mandibular splints)

    For those needing to use a machine for work purposes or to maintain the use of their driver’s license as discussed with their doctors, please refer to the file detailing Jets Law or the following link for more information.
    Licensing and Medical Fitness (https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/licensing/update/medical/fitness)

    Please contact the friendly staff at RRM if you have any questions at all regarding your sleep apnea testing or treatment.