All articles in CPAP

Understanding the Report of a Sleep Study

Deepak-Shrivastava-photo

Deepak Shrivastava, MD, FAASM, RPSGT

(A Sleep Specialist)

A ‘Sleep Study’, also known as polysomnography or PSG, has been used for decades to diagnose and evaluate the severity of sleep apnea or reversible cessation of breathing during sleep.  Sleep apnea, sometimes called obstructive sleep apnea, is a common health problem that affects millions of men and women. It occurs in children as well. The potential life-threatening effects of sleep apnea include heart and blood pressure problems, anxiety, depression and other mental health problems and difficulty is controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels.  An increasing number of sleep studies are being conducted as more people are becoming aware of the importance of good quality sleep and doctors are evaluating more people with sleep apnea symptoms. The presenting symptoms could be as subtle as daytime fatigue, tiredness, non-refreshing sleep or more intense like snoring, daytime sleepiness, and bed-partner noticing complete cessation of breathing until an awakening (can occur every few seconds to every couple of minutes).

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How important is CPAP compliance for individuals afflicted with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?   

Below is a snippet of a study that was completed to try and predict who was going to become a compliant CPAP user based on information from their sleep study.

Extensive use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has positive clinical benefits for most patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, patient adherence is a major limiting factor to the effectiveness of CPAP treatment. This study determined the potential factors affecting the willingness of patients with OSA to undertake CPAP treatment by comparing the polysomnographic parameters (Sleep Study) recorded during diagnosis (without CPAP) and titration (with CPAP).  A total of 312 patients who were diagnosed with moderate and severe OSA, were divided into persistent users and nonusers of CPAP according to their use of in-home CPAP during a 7-day CPAP trial.  Among the patients, 146 (46.8%) became persistent CPAP users. A 10% improvement of oxygen desaturation index (ODI) and a 10% increment in deep sleep percentage increased the chance of persistent CPAP use.  

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How snoring can ruin your day

snoring libINDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS
Picture: Thobeka Zazi Ndabula

QUESTION: I need urgent help. For the past three months I have been constantly exhausted. Most mornings I wake up with great difficulty. I also feel really groggy.

My partner is constantly on my case about me waking her up with my snoring.

She says I stop breathing when I sleep. I feel she is paranoid, but am concerned about my deteriorating function. I feel like a zombie for most of the day now.

ANSWER: The situation sounds very unpleasant. I’m sure it is placing major stress on your relationship. Disturbed sleep is a terrible thing and I do understand your partner’s frustration.

Snoring is often overlooked as a contributor to poor sleep and related health problems. People underestimate the long-term effects, besides losing a relationship partner or the passion in your bedroom.

Another misconception is that only obese people snore. Obesity is often a causative factor, but not always the only culprit.

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Diagnostic tools help patients overcome sleep disorders

 Virgil Pfeifle noticed after beginning a new job with an early morning shift that he was tired during the day. He was certain he wasn’t getting a full night’s sleep.

“I was really, really trying — fighting to stay awake in the morning and at work,” said Pfeifle, now 74, who started the job in 2006.

He underwent a sleep study, in which he slept overnight in a sleep lab with dozens of leads that monitored his respiration, heart rhythms, leg movements, snoring and several other processes, and was diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Pfeifle’s breathing stopped over and over again while he slept when a muscle closed his throat and prevented him from inhaling oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide.

Now Pfeifle uses a CPAP machine that keeps his airway open and allows him to breathe while he sleeps.

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