IGH POINT, N.C. — Sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that restricts breathing patterns during sleep, disrupting the normal five stages, 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 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 other 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.
Cone Health Sleep Disorders Center in Greensboro (next to Wesley Long Hospital) and Annie Penn Sleep Disorders Center in Reidsville are dedicated to detecting sleep disorders and providing exceptional care to patients suffering from sleep disorders throughout the community. To learn more, visit http://www.conehealth.com/services/sleep-disorders/.
Christy Hall is the manager of Annie Penn Sleep Center and Respiratory Therapy and has been a respiratory therapist for twenty-four years. She is a graduate of California College of Health Sciences with a degree in respiratory therapy.