Health Report: Sleep Apnea

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 7:35 PM AKDT
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Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that impacts around 18 million adults in the United States according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep apnea is where breathing starts and stops while sleeping that can be categorized into three areas.

Obstructive is where the muscles relax constricting the airway. Central is where the brain doesn’t send the proper signals to monitor breathing. Complex is where both obstructive and central occur.

There are many symptoms to indicate sleep apnea including loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep and waking up with a headache. Cardiopulmonary Director and Neurodiagnostic Senior Manager Andre Keller at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital says majority of their referrals come from spouses who hear the snoring at night.

“Probably 98% of our referrals are from disenfranchised spouses, bed partners,” said Keller. “Usually they’re the ones who can figure it out.”

To those managing with sleep apnea according Keller the standard treatment is using CPAP therapy which stands for constant positive airway pressure.

“The gold standard treatment is PAP therapy, positive airway pressure, most people know it as CPAP, constant positive airway pressure. It’s a machine that connects to a hose, that connects to a mask, that goes over your face, and it delivers pressurized air.” said Keller.

For those that suspect that they have sleep apnea should contact their medical provider.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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