It is estimated that more than 12 million Americans have breathing problems while they sleep (sleep-related breathing disorders). Sleep-related breathing disorders are characterized by pauses in breathing or other breathing abnormalities during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common such disorder, is characterized by the repetitive collapse or partial collapse of the airway during sleep and the need to arouse from sleep to resume normal breathing. Cheyne-Stokes breathing, another type of sleep disorder, is characterized by a increasing-decreasing pattern of breathing and is commonly seen during sleep in patients with heart failure (congestive heart failure). The presence of this respiratory pattern appears to be an important risk factor for the progression of heart failure.
If you have sleep apnea and it is left untreated, you are at risk for impairment, including daytime sleepiness (which could result in less than adequate work or school performance) and a potential risk for impaired attention and awareness when driving a car (and thus, the potential for an automobile accident). Because sleep apnea is also associated with low levels of oxygen during the night, untreated sleep apnea may cause heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other serious health problems.
Despite considerable progress in the treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders, most patients remain undiagnosed. Fortunately, if you have sleep apnea there are a variety of interventions at your disposal to keep it under control– most notably the positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. In the past ten years, several clinical trials have shown that many of the mental and physical problems associated with sleep apnea can be reversed with CPAP and other sleep therapies.
If you have a sleep disorder, the experts at Select Respiratory Services can help. Contact us if you need help managing your sleep disorder or determining which therapeutic approach is right for you.
Please Contact Us or call 916.805.5119 for more information.