Synergy Health and Wellness

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5 Signs You may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

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5 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea

At the beginning of the week we discussed the importance of sleep and one of the sleep disorders that severely disrupts sleep is Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is experienced by nearly 42 Million Americans with 1 in 5 having mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and 1 in 15 having moderate to severe OSA There are three types of Sleep Apnea; the most common OSA which is caused when throat muscles relax and two less common types, Central Sleep Apnea and Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome. In this article we will discuss the more common OSA.

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The following are some signs and symptoms:

1. Snoring – Often loud snoring followed by gasping, stops in breathing or choking are usually reported by significant others
2. Morning Headaches – Sleep apnea usually causes an increase in carbon dioxide and reduction in oxygen levels in the blood both of which can cause morning headaches which are usually resolved within 30 minutes of waking (as oxygen levels increase and carbon dioxide is expelled). Increasing carbon dioxide levels cause blood vessels to dilate resulting in throbbing and pounding headaches. If you get morning headaches as a result of sleep apnea it usually means that the sleep apnea is moderate to severe.
3. Inability to Concentrate – Due to the lack of restful and restorative sleep. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea often wake up more than 6 times per hour therefore they do not obtain enough restorative sleep leading to brain fog and lack of concentration
4. Fatigue Again, like number 3 patients do not get restorative sleep, wake multiple times per hour and spend many hours with decreased oxygen levels and increased carbon dioxide levels, all lend to fatigue.
5. Dry Mouth or Sore Throat when Waking – due to sleeping with mouth open and dehydration of mucus membranes
6. Irritability, Depression, Mood Swings Due to fatigue, lack of sleep, decreased oxygenation and increased carbon dioxide

Picture of Sleep Apnea Unfortunately the following are increased risk factors for OSA. Male, overweight, BMI >30, Waist Circumference >40, Alcohol, Smoking, Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome

Treatment
To definitively diagnose OSA patients will need Polysomnography testing. This may not be available to many populations. In the absence of testing a good clinical history, physical and assessment can be completed. Patients are encouraged to :

A. Lose weight (if appropriate)
B. Encourage to sleep on side
C. Refrain from Alcohol and Smoking
D. Exercise
E. Allergy Medications to decrease inflammation and mucus production which may help open airway passages

For those who do have a PSG, CPAP or a Mandibular Repositioning device may be recommended or Tonsillectomy/Adenoidectomy.

Outlook:
Left untreated OSA is debilitating and can lead to depression, anxiety, decreased libido, increased accidents. Patients who employ positive lifestyle changes often see improvement in energy levels and mood. In addition there are interventions such as CPap and Mandible Repositioning Devices that will help the patient obtain better more restorative sleep.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.
Thanks Dolores
Synergy Health and Wellness
Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net
http://www.synergyhealthandwellness.net

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