Sleep apnea can be a difficult thing to diagnose. Many people who suffer from this condition are not even aware they have it. They simply adjust to a life fatigued, believing that they are not getting enough sleep, rather than realizing that the problem is the quality of their sleep.
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, the most common; central; and mixed, a combination of the first two. In obstructive sleep apnea, for various reasons, the airway becomes partially occluded, obstructing airflow and causing problems for oxygenation of tissues. This type of sleep apnea is typically related to other conditions.
Central sleep apnea is more neurological in origin; the brain does not effectively keep the body breathing during sleep. Mixed sleep apnea is simply a combination of the two. Sleep apnea, regardless of type, causes the individual to cease breathing or breathe shallowly for long periods. In response to the resulting lack of oxygen, the brain rouses the individual, in order to restart breathing. The cycle of sleep, pauses in breathing, and waking or nearly waking is what prevents an individual with sleep apnea from getting restful sleep. Sleep apnea can only be diagnosed by a sleep study, in which the patient sleeps in a lab while hooked to a machine.
Once a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea has been made, sometimes the patient can attain quality sleep simply by elevating his or her head, such as in a recliner or with pillows. This is not always sufficient, however, and some patients may also have trouble sleeping with their heads elevated. Surgery is another option to correct the condition, but it may not be one that most people want to consider. A third option is available in the form of a Resmed CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. CPAP Supplies Plus Direct carries several different designs of facial masks for people to choose from, but the Resmed CPAP machine essentially works by keeping the airway open via constant air pressure.
In a patient with an obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis, resmed masks for sleep apnea at CPAP Supplies Plus Direct can help. It can take some time to adjust to sleeping with a mask on one’s face. Afterwards, however, the quality of sleep will be much improved. The cycle of being woken or nearly woken due to oxygen deprivation will be broken and restful sleep is the result.
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