Sleep Apnea Services
NBN Infusions Inc. provides CPAP and BiPAP machines to treat sleep apnea at home. Our highly skilled respiratory therapists will collaborate with the physician to determine the best machine and mask to suit the needs of each patient. We have a variety of masks and nasal pillows to make CPAP and BiPAP use most comfortable. This non-invasive therapy has no side effects and significantly improves the quality of life for our patients.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obstruction of the upper airway. During sleep, the muscles in the back of the throat relax causing the upper airway to become smaller. This is especially true during the deepest stages of sleep called Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. A hypopnea is a decrease in airflow, while an apnea is a pause in airflow. Apneas and hypopneas can occur due to blockage or if respiratory effort is not initiated. During a sleep study the number of apneas and hypopneas per hour are documented. This is called your apnea/hypopnea index or AHI. In some individuals the upper airway can actually collapse, causing a blockage of air movement into the lungs. When airflow is stopped for at least 10 seconds it is referred to as apnea. These apneas can occur many times each hour and hundreds of times each night.
Health Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea
- High blood pressure – Studies have shown that sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, also known as “hypertension.”
- Heart disease – Untreated sleep apnea is a risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Sleep apnea increases your risk for an irregular heartbeat, coronary artery disease, heart attack and congestive heart failure.
- Stroke – Sleep apnea increases your risk for stroke, the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC.
- Brain damage – The damage caused by sleep apnea affects brain structures that help control functions such as memory, mood and blood pressure.
- Depression – Research shows that depression is common in people with sleep disordered breathing.
- Diabetes – Sleep apnea is associated with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.
- Obesity – Obesity is a key risk factor for sleep apnea. But there is increasing evidence that sleep apnea also may promote weight gain. Sleep apnea can fragment sleep, reducing daytime energy and physical activity. It can also disrupt metabolism. Sleep apnea may alter the levels of hormones that regulate your appetite, which may lead you to eat more.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
- Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea
- Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person
- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath
- Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
The most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea is the use of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). CPAP therapy works by creating positive air pressure within the back of the throat, preventing airway collapse and apnea. This positive pressure pushes out on the walls of the throat, creating an “air splint” within the airway in much the same way that water pressure within a garden hose pushes out on the walls of the hose preventing it from collapsing.
People who use CPAP tell us good things about themselves:
- Fewer Feelings of Stress
- Fewer Impotence Issues
- Better Weight Control
- Increased Energy
- Feeling More Happy
- Reduced Daytime Sleepiness.
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (How Sleepy Are You?)
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a highly accepted method of measuring a patient’s sleepiness. The test consists of eight questions relating to situations where you might become sleepy. The scale is from 0 to 3. 0 would be the least sleepy and 3 would be the highest level of sleepiness or dozing. To calculate the results you add up all the values of the answers to the questionnaire and that is your total score. This score will help determine your level of sleepiness and whether you might want to seek further medical attention. This is something you can do on your own and should you be concerned with the results, please make an appointment with your doctor to discuss a plan. The NBN Group can offer home sleep studies for convenience. The home sleep study is a great way to identify if an individual has sleep apnea.
Take the test:
How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations? You should rate your chances of dozing off, not just feeling tired. If you have not done some of these things recently try to judge how they would have affected you. For each situation, decide how you would rate your chance of dozing based on the following scale:
0 = No chance of dozing· 1 = Slight chance of dozing· 2 = Moderate chance of dozing· 3 = High chance of dozing.
Write down the number corresponds to your choice in the right hand column.
Situation Score from 0-3
|As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break|
|Sitting inactive in a public place(e.g., a theater or a meeting)|
|Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit|
|Sitting and talking to someone|
|Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol|
|In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic|
|Sitting and reading|
Total your score – Add the values of the right column together. Total Score = ________________________
Analyze Your Score:
0-7 – It is unlikely that you are abnormally sleepy
8-9 – You have an average amount of daytime sleepiness
10-15 – Depending on the situation you may be excessively sleepy. You may want to consider seeking medical attention
16-24 – You are excessively sleepy and should consider seeking medical attention.
Remember- Before starting any new health related plan; speak to your doctor to discuss the best options for you!
To get more information on Home Sleep Studies click here.
Reference: Johns MW. A new method for measuring daytime sleepiness: The Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Sleep 1991; 14(6):540-5. This printed version of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale is provided courtesy of Talk About Sleep, Inc.www.talkaboutsleep.com.