Sleep apnea is a condition that affects nearly 18 million Americans. Left untreated, the condition can lead to a wide range of health problems, including: heart failure, stroke, diabetes, weight gain, impotence, headaches, depression, memory problems, and hypertension. Of course, this is in addition to the constant sleepiness patients often experience due to continuously interrupted sleep.
Sleep apnea is a condition affecting millions of Americans. In fact, the American Sleep Apnea Association reports that sleep apnea is as common, among Americans, as Type 2 Diabetes, affecting some 18 million people.
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As a sleep technologist, you already know the importance of a good night’s sleep. Sleep plays a vital role in well-being and health. It’s crucial to sleep well to protect both mental and physical functioning. When a patient doesn’t sleep well, it can be harmful over time. Lack of sleep can cause chronic health problems like stroke, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and high blood pressure. It can also increase the risk of obesity. According to the American Psychological Association, as many as 40 million Americans suffer from more than 70 different types of sleep disorders. In patients with sleep apnea, multiple health problems can occur if they can’t get quality sleep at night. Below we look at the pros and cons of APAP therapy so that you’ll be able to speak to your patients in a knowledgeable and beneficial way about their sleep apnea treatment.
As a sleep technologist, your ability to identify sleep disorders such as central sleep apnea is essential in order to enable the physician to determine a correct diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate therapy.
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects thousands of individuals. With this condition, you have an interruption in your breathing while sleeping that occurs through repetitive pauses, referred to as apneic events. There are several types of sleep apnea, but two prominent types include obstructive sleep apnea (most common) and central sleep apnea. As a sleep technologist, it’s important for you to know the key differences between central and obstructive apnea so you know how to best treat your patients who may have one or the other disorder.
PAP therapy, or positive airway pressure therapy, is a general term that health professionals apply to all sleep apnea treatments that provide patients with a stream of compressed air while they sleep to support their airway. Your patient wears a mask while sleeping with PAP therapy. The device then blows pressurized air from the room into the patient's upper airway through the mask with a connected tube.
Having trouble sleeping is commonly reported throughout the world. According to the American Sleep Association (AMA), sleep disorders currently affect as many as 50 to 70 million U.S adults, and insomnia is the most commonly reported. As a sleep technologist, you should know that if your patients are unable to sleep, it can get them down. It can also be very dangerous. AMA reports that drowsy driving is responsible for as many as 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries per year on America’s roads.
For patients with sleep apnea, a visit to the doctor’s office all too often consists of a review of test results and downloads, a brief physical examination and a change in PAP pressure levels or mask size. What’s missing from this? The patient. A new initiative seeks to put patients back at the center of medical care where they belong.