Providing education about sleep apnea and other sleep disorders is an important part of Sleep Data’s mission. Our Learning Center is where you will find basic information about sleep syndromes as well as the latest news about their treatment, effects, etc. We will be regularly updating this page, so be sure to visit often.
Sleep apnea, a type of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), is a condition in which breathing stops for 10 seconds or longer, more than 5 times an hour. The four nocturnal breathing disorders that fall under the SDB umbrella are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – breathing is interrupted by partial or complete obstruction of the upper airway, despite respiratory effort.
- Central sleep apnea (CSA) – the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe.
- Nocturnal hypoventilation – disruption in breathing due to the brain’s respiratory control centre not sending out enough nerve impulses to the breathing muscles.
- Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR) – an abnormal type of breathing characterized by alternating periods of shallow and deep breathing.
The most common form of sleep disordered breathing is obstructive sleep apnea. OSA sufferers will experience the following:
- Apnea—a cessation of airflow for more than 10 seconds
- Hypopnea—a decrease in airflow lasting more than 10 seconds with a 30% oxygen reduction and at least a 4% oxygen desaturation from the baseline
- Flow limitation—a narrowing of the upper airway and an indication of an impending upper airway closure
Healthy Sleep Test
Patient Suffering from OSA
CPAP vs. OAT
Clinical evidence suggests that CPAP and oral appliance therapy (OAT) are equally effective in patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. While CPAP remains the gold standard of care for OSA, it is important to include OAT as an additional treatment modality to ensure efficacy and compliance are paramount.
Due to the profound impact sleep apnea therapy can have on patients, Sleep Data and Todd Morgan Dental Corporation are working with primary care physicians and the sleep community to increase awareness of the need to screen for sleep apnea and to provide simple and effective treatment options to best suit each patient’s needs.
When does treatment end?
Never. Sleep apnea can be treated effectively, but it has no cure. Therefore, you will need to continue treatment for the rest of your life.
Why is it important to treat sleep apnea?
Missing out on a good night’s sleep is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how sleep apnea can affect your life; untreated, it can have major health implications. Sleep apnea has been linked to cardiovascular issues, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and stroke. According to Sleep, it is associated with a threefold increase in mortality risk.
What are the benefits of treatment?
Faithful compliance with treatment will result in a number of health-related benefits, including:
- Reducing the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease by 56% and 37%, respectively, according to Circulation
- Improving daytime blood pressure, heart rate and left ventricular function, according to the New England Journal of Medicine
- Reducing blood glucose levels, according to the Archives of Internal Medicine
- Improving the prognosis of heart failure patients with OSA, according to Chest
- Reducing the need for acute hospital admission due to cardiovascular disease, according to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
In addition, you will be sleeping better every night, so you’ll have more energy every day.