Sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that restricts breathing patterns during sleep, disrupting the normal five stages of sleep, especially the important deep, REM sleep stage.
Lately, more and more research has been surrounding sleep medicine, as medical professionals are finding sleep disorders and deprivation to be linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease.
Untreated sleep apnea, in particular, has been shown to increase risk of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality.
Consistent snoring is a major indicator of sleep apnea. Individuals with sleep apnea may also have trouble sleeping in certain positions, experience daytime sleepiness or feel a sense that their sleep wasn’t refreshing.
The disorder is commonly seen in individuals who are overweight or obese and/or have a thick neck.
Fortunately, sleep apnea is a completely treatable disorder, commonly treated with the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.
While CPAP therapy remains the gold standard for sleep apnea treatment, individuals who have trouble complying with CPAP therapy can discuss treatment options, such as nasal valves and oral appliances, with their doctor.
If you are experiencing signs of sleep apnea it is extremely important to discuss the condition with your doctor.
By detecting and treating sleep apnea early, a myriad of cardiovascular diseases and other serious health conditions can be prevented or decreased.
Christy Hall is the manager of Annie Penn Sleep Center and Respiratory Therapy and has been a respiratory therapist for 24 years.
She is a graduate of California College of Health Sciences with a degree in respiratory therapy.
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When: Thursday, April 3rd from 6:30-8 p.m.
Where: Wesley Long Education Center, Classroom 1
Class is free, registration required.
To register, call 832-8000 or visit www.conehealth.com/classes