Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. It’s important to understand the signs and symptoms and consult your doctor if you think you might have it. Treating sleep apnea with CPAP therapy can help you get the rest you need and take back control of your life.
What causes sleep apnea?
There are three main types of sleep apnea, but the most common is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). When we sleep, the throat relaxes. For people with OSA, sometimes they relax so much that the airway becomes narrowed or blocked. As a result, air flow is reduced or completely stops flowing into the upper airway and the lungs, so the body doesn’t get the oxygen it needs to function.
What happens when you have sleep apnea?
Air stops flowing
An apnea event is when air stops flowing to your lungs for ten seconds or longer, meaning you stop breathing.
Brain sends a signal
Your brain sends a signal to your body to wake up and take a breath. You take a breath and fall back to sleep.
These apnea events can occur hundreds of times a night and many people with sleep apnea don’t know it’s happening.
Benefits of sleep apnea treatment and CPAP therapy
Effective sleep apnea therapy, which includes the use of CPAP equipment, has been shown to help ease common symptoms and improve energy levels, productivity and overall mind-body wellness. It’s important to remember that if left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to other serious health issues.
What to do about sleep apnea
If you think you or a loved one has sleep apnea, follow these 6 steps:
Take ResMed’s free sleep assessment
The most common sign of sleep apnea is snoring. Complete a quick 3-minute assessment to see if you might be at risk for sleep apnea.
Talk to your doctor
After taking the sleep assessment, discuss your symptoms and results with your doctor.
Take a sleep test at a clinic or at home
Your doctor may recommend you schedule a sleep test to get a better idea of your snoring habits. It can be done in a sleep test clinic or in the comfort of your home.
Discuss treatment options
Your doctor will review your sleep test results. If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, they will write a prescription for CPAP therapy and equipment. Read on for treatment options and next steps.
Pick up your CPAP mask and equipment
Find a home medical equipment store near you or online and bring your prescription. Your CPAP mask is one of the most important parts of therapy, so research options before your visit.
Start CPAP therapy
Once you start using your CPAP equipment, don’t forget to register your new ResMed products to receive CPAP therapy tips and more. Our free eBook, How to get started on CPAP therapy, will be very helpful as you begin.