It seems simple enough: We breathe in and we breathe out. Our lungs inflate and take oxygen in, and deflate and let out carbon dioxide. A no brainer or so it would seem unless your breathing becomes hampered while trying to rest at night. If you have been diagnosed, you might not necessarily appreciate all there is to know about your sleep apnea. The consequences can be astounding, and not just with regard to getting a good night of sleep, as the condition can predispose you to severe health risk factors such as a high blood pressure, heart attack and failure, and stroke.
The following are some interesting facts about your condition and sleep apnea treatment in 2013:
- Do you know the number of breaths you take during the course of a day? On average, in a 24-hour time period, our lungs will allow us to take 20,000 breaths. However, with sleep apnea, this number decreases due the fact that the disease causes breathing to stop. According to the American Lung Association, pauses in breathing can be just a few seconds to minutes, and occur as little as five to as many as 30 times per hour.
- Are commercial drivers at an increased risk for sleep apnea? A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that almost one-third of commercial drivers have sleep apnea to some degree.
- Can your sleep position affect your sleep apnea? If you sleep on your back, you might be affected to a greater degree by your sleep apnea condition. In order to avoid sleeping on your back and worsening your sleep apnea, try utilizing pillows as prompts to keep you in a different position.
- Is sleep apnea restricted to obese men who might snore like a freight train? Interestingly enough, the answer is no to the stereotypical description of an individual who might be suffering with sleep apnea. Although it is true that being a male predisposed toward obesity is a contributing factor, the risk for developing sleep apnea increases in menopausal women, as per Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS, Director of The Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Disorders Center.
- Are my only options for sleep apnea treatment either a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask or extensive surgery? There is another sleep apnea treatment in 2013 available for those individuals who might have tried using a CPAP mask with accompanying machine or been told that the only other option was invasive surgery with a long recovery period. At Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America (SATCOA), the minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation (RFA) procedure is an option. RFA works by directing small amounts of temperature-controlled and targeted energy to the base of the tongue in the back of the throat. Following the procedure, tightening and reduction of this tissue, which is the culprit in sleep apnea, cures the disease.
If you suspect you might have sleep apnea or been diagnosed and would like to find out if you are a candidate for RFA, contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation when it’s convenient for you.