TMH Living Well: CPAP machines help with sleep apnea | CraigDailyPress.com

TMH Living Well: CPAP machines help with sleep apnea

The Memorial Hospital

MSPT

A recent study shows that a single poor night's sleep can cause symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. Many nights in a row have even worse effects. We all know how important good sleep is to our general well-being.

The Memorial Hospital Sleep studies

If you are having trouble sleeping but are unsure of the cause, consider getting a sleep study. TMH has the following available to accommodate patients.

• Tests for sleep apnea and other disorders are available.

• Tests read by a pulmonologist.

• Offered nightly, except Saturdays.

• Dedicated sleep study room with private bath available.

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• Often covered by insurance and Medicaid, with pre-approval.


For more information, call 970-826-2210.

There are several sleep disorders that cause poor sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common of all sleep disorders. The airway collapses or is blocked during sleep, causing shallow breathing or a pause in breathing. Pauses can last a few seconds or minutes and can occur 30 or more times in one hour. The person starts breathing again, sometimes with a choking sound or loud snort. Due to interrupted sleep, they are left tired and drowsy during the day, often relying on stimulants, such as coffee or soda to stay awake. In addition, people commonly have headaches from the decrease in oxygen.

"Today, sleep apnea is becoming more and more recognized by doctors, and people are getting the help they need. In the past, it was frequently misdiagnosed as depression, because symptoms are similar. Sometimes with sleep apnea, people have no energy, so they don't want to do anything, and their doctors mistakenly treat them for depression," said Crystal Allred, respiratory therapist for The Memorial HospitalThe Memorial Hospital. .

The Memorial Hospital.

Sleep apnea is diagnosed with a sleep study, and a common solution to obstructive sleep apnea is using a continuous positive airway pressure machine to keep airways open. The machine, about the size of a toaster, supplies a continuous pressure of air through the airways so they can't close. CPAP machines have a tube with a mask attached and are relatively quiet. The trick is getting used to wearing the mask and getting the right fit.

"Some people get used to the mask right away, and others need help. There are different types of masks in different sizes, so it's important to find the right one for you," Allred said.

With a CPAP machine, people sleep more soundly and often feel their energy return. If you suspect you or your spouse has sleep apnea, talk to your doctor. He or she may schedule a sleep study at TMH to find out. Sleep studies and CPAP machines are covered to some degree by most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.

"If a sleep study points to sleep apnea and your doctor confirms it and prescribes a CPAP or BiPAP machine, a home health care company will help set it up for you and instruct you on how to use it and clean it," Allred said. "There are little tricks of the trade to get the mask to fit comfortably. You want to wear it tight enough so it doesn't leak but not so tight that you get pressure sores."

It can be a challenge to get used to using a CPAP or BiPAP — bilevel positive airway pressure — machine. For guidance, make an appointment with a TMH certified respiratory therapist. They will help you resolve fit issues and also teach you how to properly use, and care for, your machine. Bring your mask and your machine, if needed.

For more information, call Allred at 970-826-2210.

This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.

The Memorial Hospital Sleep studies

If you are having trouble sleeping but are unsure of the cause, consider getting a sleep study. TMH has the following available to accommodate patients.

• Tests for sleep apnea and other disorders are available.

• Tests read by a pulmonologist.

• Offered nightly, except Saturdays.

• Dedicated sleep study room with private bath available.

• Often covered by insurance and Medicaid, with pre-approval.


For more information, call 970-826-2210.

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