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Respiratory

Respiratory Healhcare

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Are you at Risk?  

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common disorder where the muscles of the tongue and soft palate fail to keep the upper airway open, causing it to partially or totally close for brief periods during sleep. These brief interruptions to breathing can last for up to two minutes and occur several hundred times during the night, severely disrupting sleep.

 healthy upper airway

Healthy Upper Airway

 partially obstructed upper airway

 Partially Obstructed Upper Airway

 obstructed upper airway

Obstructed Upper Airway

 

Who is at risk of developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea?     

 

The Strongest Risk Factors are

  • Male Gender - Males are 3-4 times more likely than females to develop OSA
  • Obesity - In association with increased neck circumference
  • Ageing – OSA can occur at any age but is more prevalent in the over 40’s age group
  • Other risk factors include - upper airway abnormality, a recessed chin, nasal problems and family history.

What are the symptoms associated with OSA?

Daytime:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Waking feeling un-refreshed with a morning headache
  • Lack of Energy/Fatigue
  • Depressed and Irritable
  • Driving impairment

Night-time:

  • Loud snoring punctuated with periods of silence (Apneas) 
  • Fragmented/restless sleep
  • Night-time Sweating

The consequences of untreated OSA

Untreated OSA may put you at risk of a number of serious conditions including:
Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, Diabetes, Depression and Marital Disharmony.

There is also an increased likelihood of driving and work related accidents.

Treating OSA can improve quality of life and limit the risk of developing these conditions.

If you suspect you have OSA what should you do?
You should consult your GP and ask to be referred for a sleep study to a Sleep Clinic or hospital. An overnight sleep study together with other assessments will determine the presence or absence of OSA

How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
The most commonly prescribed treatment for OSA is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). The pressure acts as an “air splint” which keeps the airway open eliminating Obstructive Apneas and allowing you to breathe normally all night long.  Sleep becomes uninterrupted and restorative.

FAQ

1.Masks

Q My mask is uncomfortable and leaks at times?
The Mask becomes uncomfortable when the headgear is secured too tightly or the forehead support needs fine-tuning. The CPAP mask should be fitted securely to avoid air leak but not so tight that you feel uncomfortable. A mask that is fitted too tightly can also cause air leaks to occur by creating folds in the material. If the problem persists please contact us

Q How do I know when to replace my cushion/mask?
Masks should be inspected regularly for wear and tear and cracks. We recommend that you replace your cushion (the soft part of the mask) every 6mths and your mask once a year.  All accessories can be ordered from Medicare’s head office and dispatched to you within 24hrs.

Q When is a Full Face Mask preferable to a Nasal Mask?
If you have difficulty breathing through your nose or have mouth leaks, then a full face mask will provide a number of benefits over a nasal mask. A full face mask will allow you to breathe through the nose and mouth and it can help resolve a dry throat.

Q I remove my mask during the night without realising it. Why?
This can happen for a number of reasons: it can occur if the mask is too tight and uncomfortable, the nasal passages are dry or it can also occur if its early morning and you feel you have slept sufficiently.

  • Loosen the mask straps/forehead support as necessary if mask is too tight.
  • A nasal spray and/or a humidifier can help with nasal dryness.

2.CPAP

Q Will CPAP therapy work for me?
Successful treatment means sleeping better and improvement in quality of life during waking hours. It can also mean lowering blood pressure and resolving OSA symptoms such as snoring which ceases to be an issue.

Successful CPAP users also report improvements in: 

  • Vitality and motivation
  • Job performance
  • Mood
  • Sexual drive and performance
  • Alertness while driving
  • Quality of Sleep

Q Should I use my CPAP when I travel?
For CPAP to be effective the device should be used every night. Please ensure you carry a travel letter with you which can be provided by the hospital or Medicare. Check with your airline to ensure there are no special requirements before you fly.
Our CPAP systems have a power supply that automatically adjusts to the various power supplies in different parts of the world. Please note that you will need to use the correct adapter for the power supply socket of the country you are visiting.

3 Humidifier

Q Why add a humidifier?
A humidifier warms and moistens the air. It should be added if you experience a dry nose, mouth or if you have nosebleeds.

Q What level should I set the humidifier at?
The setting on your humidifier will set how much moisture you receive to alleviate your symptoms. The higher the setting, the more moisture is required.  If you start your setting for example at a midway point, and if your symptoms are not resolved, you may need to turn it up another setting. Continue in this manner until your symptoms are resolved. If you start to experience moisture in the mask tube, you need to turn down the setting.

 

The contents of this site in no way takes place of professional medical advice and are for information purposes only.

If you have any health problems or concerns, please consult your healthcare professional before seeking further advice.

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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Are you at Risk?  

 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common disorder where the muscles of the tongue and soft palate fail to keep the upper airway open, causing it to partially or totally close for brief periods during sleep. These brief interruptions to breathing can last for up to two minutes and occur several hundred times during the night, severely disrupting sleep.

 

Healthy Upper Airway

 

Partially Obstructed Upper Airway

 

Obstructed Upper Airway

 

 

 

Who is at risk of developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea?     

 

The Strongest Risk Factors are

·         Male Gender - Males are 3-4 times more likely than females to develop OSA

 

·         Obesity - In association with increased neck circumference

 

·         Ageing – OSA can occur at any age but is more prevalent in the over 40’s age                                                   group

 

Other risk factors include - upper airway abnormality, a recessed chin, nasal problems and family history.

 

What are the symptoms associated with OSA?

 

Daytime:

·         Excessive daytime sleepiness

·         Waking feeling un-refreshed with a morning headache

·         Lack of Energy/Fatigue

·         Depressed and Irritable

·         Driving impairment

 

Night-time:

·         Loud snoring punctuated with periods of silence (Apneas)   

·         Fragmented/restless sleep

·         Night-time Sweating

 

 

The consequences of untreated OSA

Untreated OSA may put you at risk of a number of serious conditions including:

Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, Diabetes, Depression and Marital Disharmony.  There is also an increased likelihood of driving and work related accidents.

Treating OSA can improve quality of life and limit the risk of developing these conditions.

 

 

If you suspect you have OSA what should you do?

You should consult your GP and ask to be referred for a sleep study to a Sleep Clinic or hospital. An overnight sleep study together with other assessments will determine the presence or absence of OSA

 

How is Sleep Apnea Treated?

The most commonly prescribed treatment for OSA is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). The pressure acts as an “air splint” which keeps the airway open eliminating Obstructive Apneas and allowing you to breathe normally all night long.  Sleep becomes uninterrupted and restorative.

 

 

 

FAQ

1.Masks

Q My mask is uncomfortable and leaks at times?

The Mask becomes uncomfortable when the headgear is secured too tightly or the forehead support needs fine-tuning. The CPAP mask should be fitted securely to avoid air leak but not so tight that you feel uncomfortable. A mask that is fitted too tightly can also cause air leaks to occur by creating folds in the material. If the problem persists please contact us

Q How do I know when to replace my cushion/mask?

Masks should be inspected regularly for wear and tear and cracks.                              We recommend that you replace your cushion (the soft part of the mask) every 6mths and your mask once a year.  All accessories can be ordered from Medicare’s head office and dispatched to you within 24hrs.

Q When is a Full Face Mask preferable to a Nasal Mask?

If you have difficulty breathing through your nose or have mouth leaks, then a full face mask will provide a number of benefits over a nasal mask. A full face mask will allow you to breathe through the nose and mouth and it can help resolve a dry throat.

Q I remove my mask during the night without realising it. Why?

This can happen for a number of reasons: it can occur if the mask is too tight and uncomfortable, the nasal passages are dry or it can also occur if its early morning and you feel you have slept sufficiently.

·         Loosen the mask straps/forehead support as necessary if mask is too tight.

·         A nasal spray and/or a humidifier can help with nasal dryness.

2.CPAP

Q Will CPAP therapy work for me?

Successful treatment means sleeping better and improvement in quality of life during waking hours. It can also mean lowering blood pressure and resolving OSA symptoms such as snoring which ceases to be an issue.

Successful CPAP users also report improvements in: 

  • Vitality and motivation
  • Job performance
  • Mood
  • Sexual drive and performance
  • Alertness while driving
  • Quality of Sleep

 

Q Should I use my CPAP when I travel?

For CPAP to be effective the device should be used every night. Please ensure you carry a travel letter with you which can be provided by the hospital or Medicare. Check with your airline to ensure there are no special requirements before you fly.

Our CPAP systems have a power supply that automatically adjusts to the various power supplies in different parts of the world. Please note that you will need to use the correct adapter for the power supply socket of the country you are visiting.

3 Humidifier

Q Why add a humidifier?

A humidifier warms and moistens the air. It should be added if you experience a dry nose, mouth or if you have nosebleeds.

 

Q What level should I set the humidifier at?

The setting on your humidifier will set how much moisture you receive to alleviate your symptoms. The higher the setting, the more moisture is required.  If you start your setting for example at a midway point, and if your symptoms are not resolved, you may need to turn it up another setting. Continue in this manner until your symptoms are resolved. If you start to experience moisture in the mask tube, you need to turn down the setting.