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What Should You Know about Sleep Apnea

What Should You Know about Sleep Apnea

Expert Insights from Sleep Apnea Specialists in Montreal

Sleep is an essential aspect of a healthy life, and the quality and hours of sleep you get determines how well your body and mind can refresh and rejuvenate each day. However, a majority of Canadians who suffer from sleep apnea either do not realize that they have this disorder, or do not pay attention to their symptoms to get proper treatment.

A potentially serious sleep disorder, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is more common than you may imagine and messes up more than just sleep. As per a study published by the Public Health Agency of Canada, 1 in 2 adults have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, while 1 in 3 adults have difficulties in staying awake during waking hours. The sleep disorder experts at GRS Médical sleep clinic in Montreal offer useful insights on everything you should know about sleep apnea. Understanding the causes, signs, and treatment options for OSA will go a long way in improving your sleep quality, as well as your overall health and wellbeing.

All Your Questions about Sleep Apnea Answered

What is the root cause of sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs due to blocked airways when you are sleeping. While experts have identified obesity as one of the most common underlying risk factors for OSA, here are some of the other root causes of sleep apnea:

  • Family history of OSA or hormonal abnormalities
  • Excessive consumption of sedatives or alcohol, or cigarette smoking
  • Anatomical characteristics, such as the structure, size, or positioning of your tongue, tonsils, jaw, neck, or tissues at the back of your throat

What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?

Here are some of the signs or symptoms that you may be suffering from sleep apnea

  • Loud snoring while sleeping, along with snorting, gasping, distorted breathing, or choking that causes you to wake up multiple times during the night.
  • Feeling excessively tired, sleepy, or irritable during the waking hours
  • Limited attention span or difficulty in thinking clearly or focusing on tasks
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat in the morning

What are the 3 types of sleep apnea?

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway at the back of the throat becomes physically blocked, leading to temporary lapses in breathing.
  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) occurs due to your brain’s inability to signal to or control the muscles involved in respiration. This could lead to slower and shallower breathing, or repeated breathing pauses throughout the night.
  • Mixed Sleep Apnea is essentially a scenario where you experience OSA and CSA at the same time. It is also called complex sleep apnea.

What are the treatments for sleep apnea?

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is the gold standard for treating sleep apnea. One of the most effective and proven sleep apnea solutions in Montreal, the CPAP devices help in:

  • Maintaining a steady flow of oxygen to your mouth and nose
  • Keeping the airways open, and enabling easy, uninterrupted breathing through the night.

Other solutions that may help in reducing sleep apnea symptoms include losing weight, reducing the intake of sedatives or alcohol, and making certain changes in your sleeping positions.

What happens if sleep apnea is left untreated?

Here are the risks associated with untreated sleep apnea:

  • Obstructed breathing can strain your heart or cause heart enlargement.
  • Poor sleep quality can increase blood pressure and elevate the risk of cardiovascular diseases or strokes.
  • Lack of sleep can leave you drowsy, irritable, or lethargic.
  • Chronic daytime fatigue and poor concentration levels may lead to:
    • Risk of accidents while driving, working, or operating tools or machinery
    • Loss of productivity at work
    • Tensions, mood swings and stress in relationships

Will losing weight cure my sleep apnea?

Weight loss can provide meaningful and significant improvements in OSA related symptoms. It can also enhance your cardiovascular health and boost vitality. However, if obesity is not the only cause of your sleep apnea, weight loss may not be able to completely cure OSA. When hereditary issues or anatomical factors are contributing to your sleep apnea, you may have to consider various lifestyle changes, as well as a combination of sleep apnea solutions, including CPAP therapy and devices.

Can I get rid of sleep apnea?

Milder cases of sleep apnea may be reversible through lifestyle changes, sleep position changes, treatment of nasal allergies, or other targeted treatments based on the root cause of your OSA. In certain cases, your doctor may recommend a sleep test, followed by CPAP therapy or the use of other air pressure masks, devices, or oral appliances. In rare cases, you may need surgery for correcting a problem with your jaw structure, removing tonsils, or shrinking the tissues at the rear of the mouth.

At GRS Médical, we offer numerous diagnostics and sleep apnea solutions at our sleep disorder clinics in and around Montreal. Our experienced sleep experts diagnose and treat all types of sleep apnea and sleep issues, with a focus on improving the overall quality of your life. We are also the leading distributor for a variety of CPAP machines and sleep assistive devices from globally-renowned manufacturers.

Call 514-320-0188 or contact us online to book a simple at-home sleep apnea test. You can also visit one of our sleep apnea clinics in Montreal for efficient and individualized sleep apnea solutions.