Newly Diagnosed With Sleep Apnea: What to Know

Written by
Jason Smith RPSGT
Published on
May 10, 2022 9:09:39 AM PDT May 10, 2022 9:09:39 AM PDTth, May 10, 2022 9:09:39 AM PDT

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is potentially serious since breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. Those who have a sleep apnea disorder usually snore loudly and still feel tired after sleeping for a full night.


There are several types of sleep apnea disorders, including:


Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This sleep apnea type is the most common and occurs when the throat muscles relax too much, blocking the airways.


Central Sleep Apnea 

Central sleep apnea is caused by the brain not sending the right signals to the muscles that control breathing.


Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Complex sleep apnea syndrome occurs when a person has both obstructive and central sleep apnea.


Symptoms of Sleep Apnea Disorder


The symptoms and signs of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea disorders overlap, making it difficult to diagnose which type you have. However, the most common symptoms and signs of a sleep apnea disorder include:


-Loud snoring

-Gasping for air while sleeping

-Morning headache

-Awakening with a dry mouth

-Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)

-Irritability while awake

-Difficulty paying attention during the day

-Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)

-An episode in which breathing stops during sleep–reported by a bystander


What Causes Sleep Apnea?


Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This type of sleep apnea occurs when muscles towards the back of the throat relax. These muscles support the uvula, the soft palate of tissue hanging in the back of the throat. They also support the sidewalls, tonsils, and tongue. When these muscles relax, the airways either narrow or close when you breathe in, which can lower your blood oxygen level. Your brain reacts by waking you up to reopen your airways, but you won’t even remember this when waking up, since it is so brief. This pattern can occur multiple times during sleep, which reduces your amount of deep slumber. 


Central Sleep Apnea

This form of sleep apnea is less common and occurs when the brain doesn’t transmit signals to the breathing muscles, causing you to briefly pause breathing efforts. You may have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep and have shortness of breath when you awake.


Sleep Apnea Risk Factors

Anyone can be affected by sleep apnea, even children. But some factors can increase your risk:


Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The following factors can increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea:


-Excess weight 

-Neck circumference

-A narrowed airway

-Being male

-Being older

-Family history

-Use of alcohol, tranquilizers, or sedatives

-Smoking

-Nasal congestion

-Medical condition


Central Sleep Apnea

The following factors can increase the risk of central sleep apnea:


-Being older

-Being male

-Heart disorders.

-Using narcotic pain medications

-Stroke


Treatment for Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, a CPAP machine can help. At 1800CPAP we have many CPAP devices available that can help you breathe easily through the night to get quality sleep.


These machines help by forcing air into your lungs as you sleep so you won’t skip breaths. Get your CPAP machine now.