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What is Sleep Apnoea?
What is sleep apnoea?
Sleep apnoea affects the way you breathe when you’re sleeping. In untreated sleep apnoea, breathing is briefly interrupted or becomes very shallow during sleep. These breathing pauses typically last between 10 to 60 seconds and can occur up to hundreds of times a night.
Untreated sleep apnoea prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep. When breathing is paused, you’re jolted out of your natural sleep rhythm. As a consequence, you spend more time in light sleep and less time in the deep, restorative sleep you need to be energetic, mentally sharp, and productive the next day.
This chronic sleep deprivation results in daytime sleepiness, slow reflexes, poor concentration, and an increased risk of accidents. Sleep apnoea can also lead to serious health problems over time, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain. But with treatment, you can control the symptoms, get your sleep back on track, and start enjoying what it’s like to be refreshed and alert every day.
Types of sleep apnoea
- Obstructive sleep apnoea is the most common type of sleep apnoea. It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep, causing a blockage of the airway (as well as loud snoring).
- Central sleep apnoea is a much less common type of sleep apnea that involves the central nervous system, rather than an airway obstruction. It occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing. People with central sleep apnea seldom snore.
- Complex sleep apnoea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
How can I treat Sleep Apnoea
CPAP for sleep apnoea
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP for short, is the most common treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea. In many cases, you’ll experience immediate symptom relief and a huge boost in your mental and physical energy. The CPAP device is a lightweight mask and machine that provides a constant stream of air which keeps your breathing passages open while you sleep. Most CPAP devices are the size of a tissue box.
If you’ve given up on sleep apnoea machines in the past because of discomfort, you owe it to yourself to give them a second look. CPAP technology is constantly being updated and improved. The new CPAP devices are lighter, quieter, and more comfortable, so make sure your sleep apnoea device is up to date.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnoea
Diagnosing of sleep apnoea begins with a visit to your GP. You will then either be referred to a sleep physician for a hospital or home based sleep study. It is important to get proper medical advice and diagnosis first. Other medical conditions can have similar symptoms and may require different treatment methods. Depending on the severity of sleep apnoea other methods and lifestyle choices can be affective. Once diagnosed and given a CPAP prescription or recommendation you are ready to start on a CPAP machine trial.
Methods and Techniques
CPAP for sleep apnoea: tips and troubleshooting
Having trouble with your new sleep apnoea device? It can take some time to get accustomed to sleeping while wearing a CPAP device. It’s natural to miss sleeping the “old way,” but there are things you can to do make the adjustment easier.
- Make sure your CPAP device fits correctly. A correct fit makes a huge difference. Make sure the straps are not too tight or too loose and that the mask seals completely over your nose and mouth. Schedule regular appointments with your CPAP therapist to check the fit and evaluate your treatment progress.
- Ease into it. Start by using your CPAP device for short periods during the day. Use the “ramp” setting to gradually increase air pressure. It’s normal to need several months to get used to sleeping this way.
- Upgrade your CPAP device with customised options.Customise the mask, tubing and straps to find the right fit. Ask your CPAP therapist about soft pads to reduce skin irritation, nasal pillows for nose discomfort, and chin-straps to keep your mouth closed and reduce throat irritation.
- Use a humidifier to decrease dryness and skin irritation. Most CPAP devices now come with a built-in humidifier.
- Try a saline nasal spray or a nasal decongestant for nasal congestion.
- Keep your mask, tubing and headgear clean. To ensure maximum comfort and benefit, replace CPAP and humidifier filters regularly and keep the unit clean.
We work with you to find the most effective and comfortable solution to ensure a better nights sleep for you and your loved ones.
At city CPAP we work with you on an individual basis in conjunction with your sleep physician’s recommendations to provide the best possible solution for your ongoing sleep health and quality of life. We are driven to help you get accustomed to using your CPAP equipment as quickly and consistently as possible with a wealth of knowledge at hand to assist.
If you are an experienced user of CPAP we can offer honest advise and information to maximise your CPAP usage, compliance and benefit long term.
How it Works
If newly diagnosed we thoroughly recommend a trial of CPAP to make sure you get everything working properly before you purchase a machine of your own. This is usually recommended by your sleep physician once diagnosed. One of the most important decisions you will make is choosing which mask type and style you are most comfortable with which is part of the trial process. You need to make an appointment to begin your trial where the initial consultation takes approximately 1 hour. Our standard practice is too then follow up each week to review and make any changes required.