If your doctor recommends you wear a CPAP machine at night for your sleep apnea, you probably want to know what type of adjustment process you will need to go through. This device will not only help with your condition, it will also help you avoid some of the serious complications that are associated with sleep apnea, including high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks and others. So it is extremely important that you use the device exactly as directed.
What is a CPAP Machine?
CPAP is short for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A CPAP machine is designed to help keep your nasal passages open by pushing air into them. It is comprised of a tube that delivers air from the machine, a pump that controls the amount of air, and a mask that goes over either your nose or mouth. Some models have a mask that covers both.
There is a chance that you will need to experiment with different models until you find the one that is most comfortable. As long as the mask remains sealed and the air pressure stays constant, the device will work as it should.
While today’s CPAP machine is much quieter than its predecessors, there are still some things you will need to get used to. For example, you may experience dryness in your mouth and nose. However, many devices have humidifiers to fix that problem. If you are having difficulty breathing through your nose when using the machine, that probably means you simply have some sort of nasal obstruction. Once the congestion is treated, you should have no problems.
The experts with O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group will help you adjust to your CPAP machine so that you are once again enjoying a great night of refreshing rest. Give us a call at 214-865-7788 or contact us online to learn more.
There are many snoring solutions you can try at home to see if they eliminate this very serious problem. Not only can it cause issues in relationships, it can also lead to potentially severe – even fatal – health complications. Check with your doctor first to make sure you do not have a major health issue. If not, then try some of these remedies.
Natural Snoring Solutions
One thing to try first will be to change your normal sleep position. Granted, this could be difficult if you are used to sleeping a certain way, but of all the natural snoring solutions, this tends to be one of the most effective. If you lie on your back, for example, that can lead to a vibrating sound that will keep your spouse or significant other awake. Try using a body pillow to sleep on your side. If you find that you keep moving to your normal position, tape a couple of tennis balls to your back to keep that from happening.
Another remedy that could help solve your problem is to lose weight. Obese people tend to have excess weight around the neck, which can squeeze the throat and make them more likely to snore. Keeping your nasal passages open at night could help as well, since blockages tend to exacerbate snoring. Take a hot shower before you go to bed or use nasal strips.
Staying hydrated also helps lower the chances of snoring. If you are dehydrated, the secretions in your soft palate and nose can thicken and cause an issue.
Contact Us About Snoring Solutions
If none of these snoring solutions help, then you will need to consider getting medical help for your condition. The experts with O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group have a great deal of experience successfully treating this problem. Contact us online or call 214-865-7788 to schedule an appointment.
4 Things To Know About Sleep Apnea
Poor sleep isn’t just about working too hard or getting old. Millions of Americans unknowingly suffering from a serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Learn the four things you must know about sleep apnea.
1. What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the throat becomes partially or wholly blocked during sleep. This obstruction is the result of the tonsils and/or tongue blocking the windpipe, causing the person to wake up through the night. Sleep apnea is typically caused by several factors, such as:
- Being overweight or obese (the #1 risk factor of OSA)
- Having large tonsils or tongue
- Certain medications that affect sleep
- A deviated septum
- Heavy alcohol consumption
2. What Should I Watch Out For?
The most important thing to watch out for is loud, chronic snoring. People who have sleep apnea will snore loudly enough to wake a sleeping partner. In addition to snoring, the sufferer may wake with a dry mouth or sore throat after a night of gasping for air.
3. Are There Side Effects?
Typical side effects of sleep apnea are confusion, fatigue and difficulty completing daytime tasks. Some of the most significant effects of include:
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- Memory problems
- Sleepiness while driving
4. How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
One of our specialists at O2 Pulmonary and Sleep Center will provide the best option that will meet your current lifestyle. Options can range from a custom oral device to keep the lower jaw in place to a CPAP machine.
Schedule a consultation to determine the right treatment for you. Our team is ready to help.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is characterized by a shallow type of breathing or pauses in breathing during the sleep cycle. These pauses in the breathing can last a few seconds, or in more dangerous cases the pause can last up to several minutes. A loud snort is usually accompanied by the breathing after the pause.
People managing sleep apnea experience disrupting sleep which has consequences such as extreme fatigue during the day. If you are trying to manage sleep apnea, visit one of our sleep apnea specialists for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Different stages of sleep apnea
From a medical point of view, there are three different types of sleep apnea: mild, moderate and severe. These types are determined by the number of apnea episodes a patient has during sleep. Many people don’t even know they struggle with sleep apnea. Therefore, it is so important to pay attention to a few alarm signals such as:
- Excessive fatigue during the day for no apparent reason
- Feeling mentally down and unproductive during the day
- Very low energy levels
- Morning headaches
What happens during a Sleep Apnea episode?
During a sleep apnea episode, the airflow stops, and this will bring about a drop in your blood oxygen levels. People with obstructive sleep apnea will typically not remember the ‘awakenings’ during the night since their sleep was disturbed, but breathing is ultimately restored with a gasp/slight choking episode. On the other hand, people with Central Sleep Apnea are quite conscious regarding these awakenings.
What are the biggest signs of concern that might indicate Sleep Apnea?
- Loud snoring episodes
- Gasping for your breath during the night
- Feeling of choking while sleeping
- Breathing cessations (pausing)
- Sleepiness, fatigue, irritability, moodiness, headaches and even depressive states during the day.
If you or a loved one is faced with sleep apnea, contact an appointment with one of our sleep apnea doctors. We can help.
Watch for Part 2 on Sleep Apnea
Best and Worst Foods for Sleep
What you eat right before you sleep is as important as what you eat first thing in the morning. If you are having trouble sleeping, you may want to take a closer look at what you are eating before going to bed. We’ve made a list of the three worst foods and 3 best foods for sleep.
3 of the Worst Foods for Sleep
If you are having trouble sleeping, look at the foods you are eating before you go to bed. Here are 3 foods you should not eat before going to bed.
While coffee and soda can be tasty, drinking it at night can be compromising your sleep. Caffeine’s effects usually last 8-14 hours, so it’s best to cut off caffeine about 8 hours before you plan to sleep.
Chocolate bars have varying amounts of caffeine, but an average 2-ounce, 70 percent dark chocolate bar contains around 79 milligrams—over half of what’s in an 8-ounce cup of coffee. If chocolate is a must have for you, consider snacking on it earlier in the day so it won’t keep you awake.
It’s no secret that alcohol makes it hard for you to stay asleep so avoid drinking before bed.
3 of the Best Foods for Sleep
Below are three foods that can help you sleep better.
Having trouble falling asleep? Grab a banana! Bananas are full of potassium which may help prevent nighttime leg cramps and restless legs. Plus, they contain magnesium which help to relax your muscles.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat before bed, then have a kiwi! Kiwis are rich in folate, and insomnia is one of the health issues that is a symptom of folate deficiency. Eat up because kiwis can only help you sleep better!
A quick fix to a better night’s rest may be a handful of almonds. Almonds also contain magnesium to help relax your muscles and protein to help balance your blood sugar while sleeping.
O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group for an appointment by calling our clinic.
Why Do I Wake Up Every Night?
There has been speculation throughout history by many cultures as to why some people wake up at night at the same time for no apparent reason. Research may have uncovered a few culprits.
Adrenal Glands as a Culprit
Adrenal glands can really impact your sleep cycle. Adrenal glands secrete the stress hormone known as cortisol which can be a lifesaver in a dangerous situation, but many Americans find their cortisol levels to be too high throughout the day. The stress of our strained schedules, overworked bodies, and financial struggles could keep our cortisol levels running into the night when we should be sleeping.
Sleep Apnea as a Culprit
Sleep apnea or severe snoring is a reason to be woken up at night. If you suspect trouble breathing at night, it is best to seek treatment and lifestyle changes.
The Bathroom as a Culprit
Frequent urination at night is not normal. In fact, it usually signals there is something that needs attention from a doctor.
If you have trouble sleeping, contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group for an appointment by calling our clinic.
How to Breathe Easier in Hot & Humid Weather
Changing weather can affect the body more than you think. There are certain weather conditions can make it hard to breathe, especially for those who have a chronic lung condition. When heat and humidity rise over the summer, we see many complaints from those who just cannot seem to catch their breath. It is important to learn to adapt your lifestyle to the weather when it can trigger attacks of asthma, allergies, or COPD.
How Hot Weather Affects Lung Conditions
If you are managing lung conditions such as asthma or COPD, your body already uses much of its energy just to breathe. Add in high heat, and it can be a recipe for disaster. Any extreme weather can cause your body to take the focus off your lungs and put it into cooling and heating yourself. Air can also become stagnant at higher temperatures meaning pollutants are more likely to be breathed in and irritate your lungs.
Tips to Breathe and Adapt
- Avoid triggers such as smoke, aerosol, mold, dust, and cleaning products.
- Use medications as directed and keep up doctor’s appointments.
- Stay indoors where the air is poor on the hottest days.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid prolonged outdoor exercise.
If you have trouble breathing, contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group for an appointment by calling our clinic.
Transient Vs. Chronic Insomnia
Have you been having trouble sleeping at night? Do you seem to toss and turn and never quite get to sleep? Do you wake up several times during the night? If you answered yes to these, and it’s been going on for several weeks, you may have insomnia. Most people know that it is a condition involving difficulty sleeping, but they do not know much else. There are actually two types of insomnia; transient and chronic.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia can encompass trouble getting to sleep and trouble staying asleep. There are also other symptoms associated with insomnia. These can be having unsatisfying sleep, feeling tired or having a lack of energy, mood issues, and trouble concentrating. An estimated 30% of the population suffers from this disorder.
Transient insomnia is a type of insomnia that does not last very long. In fact, it tends only last a few days or possibly a week. This type of insomnia is treated much differently than other types as the causes are often entirely different. This type of insomnia is often due to some kind of interruption in a sleep schedule or an outside stressor. These can include:
- A relationship issue or nerves about a job interview
- Jet lag
- Interrupted sleep pattern due to holidays or other unusual events
- Sleeping in a new place
- An illness that causes frequent waking or breathing problems
Chronic insomnia is a long-term problem. It is a disease that affects the person for most of their life. About 10% of people suffer from this type of insomnia. Sometimes, it can last for months at a time and go away, or it can affect a person off and on for years. This type of insomnia can be caused by many things such as:
- Circadian rhythm disorders
- Extreme changes in sleep pattern
- Sleep disorders
- Severe anxiety
Contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group
If you think you have insomnia, Contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group for an appointment.
What Exactly Is A Cough, Medically Speaking?
Do you know what a cough actually is? While a cough may seem sudden, your body actually goes through an entire process to create a cough.
Step one: an irritant gets into the body
Step two: the irritant stimulates the nerves in your lungs or throat
Step three: the message is then sent to your brain that you need to cough
Step four: your muscles then push air out of your lungs to try and get rid of the irritant
Coughing can sometimes be extremely forceful and cause headaches, sleepiness, and even broken ribs. An acute cough is nothing to worry about and completely normal, but sometimes when coughs linger, it’s time for concern.
Reasons Why You Cough
If you have a cough that lasts for more than a few minutes, such as a cough that goes on for days or weeks, you may be wondering what the cause could be. There are many reasons that people cough, or rather, many things that cause the irritations that lead to coughing. These include:
- The cold or flu, which lasts for 1 to 2 weeks
- Bronchitis, which could last for several weeks
- Asthma and allergies
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease a.k.a. chronic heartburn
- Pneumonia, which can last up to a month
- Chronic postnasal drip
- Rare but serious medical conditions
When a Cough is More Than Just a Cough
A chronic cough may be a lingering dry cough after a long illness, but it could also be something else. So, how do you know when it’s time to see a medical provider? Generally speaking, a cough that lasts more than three weeks, unless you have an active infection of pneumonia, is considered a chronic cough. This is the point where you might want to see a physician to try and get to the bottom of the cause of this cough. It may be that you still have a lingering infection that needs further treatment or that you have allergies or asthma. These things are not necessarily serious and have many treatment options. However, you should know that there are some rare cases in which serious conditions are the reason that you are coughing such as lung cancer, COPD, and chronic heart disease. Smokers and those with a family history of these issues are more likely to suffer from these more serious medical problems.
Contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group
Have a cough that just won’t go away? Contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group for an appointment.
Lifestyle Changes That Promote Sleep
How many times has your doctor, or a family member reminded you of the importance of getting enough sleep? Sleep is something we all know we need, and scientifically, we are all beginning to understand exactly why. Yet, it is still one of the most neglected areas of our health in America. Often the first defense to trouble sleeping is turning to medication that may have annoying or even unhealthy side effects. While extreme cases may call for medication, there are also things you can do in your own life to help increase both your quantity and quality of sleep without the need for a pill.
Diet & Exercise
There is really no replacement in any healthy part of your life for the proper diet and exercise. Substances such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can greatly affect sleeping patterns, especially when used within the second half of the waking day. Being active can help you get to sleep faster at night as well.
Make Your Bedroom A Sanctuary
Often, we forget that despite being completely intelligent beings that we still respond and are trained by stimuli. It is crucial that your body recognizes your bedroom is only for one purpose; sleep. Otherwise, subconsciously, you won’t be able to relax as easily when also using it as a playroom or an office.
Talk to Your Doctor About What’s Keeping You Awake
Is there something health-wise keeping you from getting the proper shut-eye? You may think it’s normal to toss and turns with pain, itching, or a ringing in your ears, but it doesn’t have to be your normal. Do not be afraid to talk with a physician about what is bothering you since they might be able to make a world of difference.
Contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group
Having trouble with sleep and want to talk with an experienced physician? Contact O2 Pulmonary & Sleep Group for an appointment.