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At Apnea Health we’re committed to providing fast, courteous, and professional service to make diagnosis and treatment easy.

We’re equally committed to continuing care and follow-ups, to make sure that your therapy is working at its best.

Our friendly staff is always ready to answer questions and provide tips, and to help find the best solutions for your individual needs with the latest in CPAP technology.

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What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. The pauses in breathing are called apneas and they are occur when tissues in the throat collapse preventing oxygen from reaching the lungs.

  • Snoring
  • Frequent stopping or pauses in breathing
  • Nocturnal awakening with the feeling of suffocation
  • Agitated sleep
  • Fatigue/drowsiness
  • Morning awakening with headache
  • Suffer from high blood pressure
  • Obese or overweight
  • Irritability, depression or mood swings
  • Lack of concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Headache in the morning
  • Erectile dysfunction

Sleep apnea is a condition where the tongue and other soft tissues at the back of your throat relax too much and block your airways while you sleep. A decrease in oxygen causes you wake up slightly to reopen the airways.

This type of micro-waking is usually not enough to bring you to full consciousness, but it definitely disrupts your sleep cycle, and it can happen dozens of times an hour throughout the night without you knowing it. As a result, people with OSA can spend a full eight hours “sleeping” and still wake up exhausted.

This chronic lack of restful sleep leads to daytime dizziness and reduced cognitive function, but it also limits your body’s ability to repair damage and fight off disease, and leads to more serious problems like heart disease, strokes and yes, even diabetes.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) devices are the most efficient method of treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS). CPAP eliminates snoring and apnea by delivering pressurized air to keep your airway open. The pressure is delivered through a 2m tube connected to a mask covering your nose, nostrils or mouth. The purpose of the pressure is to act as a splint to keep your throat open.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a destructive disease that can harm your health and increase your risk of death. It can cause health risks such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

  1. Central sleep apnea (CSA) in which the pauses occur because your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing.
  2. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) an interruption of breathing caused by a blockage of the upper airway, mostly by soft tissue in the throat or the tipping tongue blocking the passage of air;
  3. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.

In general, sleep apnea does not disappear, it is treated. In some cases, if the cause of sleep apnea is related to excess weight, it is possible following a significant weight loss that the apnea will disappear. However, it is recommended that you consult your doctor and take another sleep test before you stop using your CPAP.

There are several symptoms of Sleep Apnea, which can be seen throughout the day.

In the morning after waking up:

  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling of being unrested
  • Morning headaches

During the day:

  • Lack of energy
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Tiredness and drowsiness
  • Decreased libido
  • Lack of concentration and memory

During the night:

  • Frequent awakenings to go to the bathroom
  • Occasional feeling of choking
  • Snoring
  • Non-restorative sleep
  • Night sweats

Excess weight is a major cause of sleep apnea.

Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can reduce life expectancy by more than 12 years and the risk of dying from sleep apnea is increased by almost 50% (46-49%). Sleep apnea can lead to heart problems.

Anxiety can disrupt sleep but does not cause sleep apnea.

For anatomical reasons, the narrowing of the airways is often greatest when you sleep on your back. Sleeping on your side often helps reduce sleep apnea. Body pillows (such as the Sleep Noodle from CPAPology) allow for comfortable side-sleeping and to reduce the apneas that occur in the dorsal position.

Stress can disrupt sleep but does not cause apnea.

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Apnea Health is Montreal area’s leading provider of sleep apnea testing and CPAP treatment. Call us or drop in to one of our 8 clinics for immediate assistance. Our team is here to help.

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