Author Archives: Respshop

About Respshop

We are a CPAP supply Company who Operates Out of Redmond, Washington. Our Staff is Well Equipped to Answer Any Questions You May Have on Sleep Apnea! Reach Us At: 866-936-3754 Keep Up With Us on Social Media: -Like Us On FaceBook: www.facebook.com/RespShop -Follow Us On Twitter: twitter.com/RespShop -View Us On Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCH-Hgc8gGl6782_Vs6f8XHA -Follow Us On Instagram: www.instagram.com/Respshop -Watch Us On Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/respshop/pins/

Why Sleep Apnea is Hurting Your Heart

Picture this: You are sound asleep, dreaming of a beach paradise, when all a suddenly your partner is shaking you awake. You look at them through bloodshot eyes, and they explain -for the tenth time that night- that you have been snoring. You nod sleepily, change your position, and go back to bed…only to get up that next morning to worship your coffee like a god because it is the only thing that will keep you awake that day.

Sound familiar? Well you are not alone! According to the American Sleep Apnea Association 22 Million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and the American Heart Association states that 1 in 5 adults suffer from, at the very least, mild sleep apnea. Evidence of this can be seen in a variety of ways, as you would know from previous posts. Symptoms range from daytime fatigue, insomnia, snoring in the night, headaches, mood swings, and more. For those of us who are used to no sleep, however, this can seem like not a big deal.

“So what if I’m always tired,” we tell ourselves. “Lack of sleep won’t kill me!” The only problem with this mentality is the less sleep you have the more certain science has become that it will, in fact, effect your heart.

The American College of Cardiology, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and even the American Heart Association have all linked sleep apnea with heart conditions. The AHA even states on their site that sleep apnea has been linked to arrhythmia, high blood pressure, stroke, and even heart failure. In fact, another study confirmed that male adults age 30-70 were at an extremely high risk of having a stroke or heart attack if they already had obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring in particular is a great sign you have obstructive sleep apnea, yet snoring is not your only problem. Central sleep apnea (which in my personal opinion is far harder to detect and is more damaging) rarely even presents itself through snoring. In fact, while obstructive sleep apnea is more common among over weight individuals, central sleep apnea can present itself in all shapes and sizes, which is a problem.

Experts agree that sleep apnea begets high blood pressure, and vise versa. It becomes a never-ending cycle of health problems and brings one closer to ever serious heart complications. Statics even show that 30-50% of adults with high blood pressure will have sleep apnea. With this news it can be overwhelming! It can almost feel like if you won the unlucky cosmic lottery and now if you have sleep apnea, or high blood pressure, you are doomed to have a lifetime of health problems along with a shorter lifespan which begs the question: What am I left to do?

The solutions may not be easy, but thankfully they are simple.

  1. Exercise

I’ve heard it, you’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it! If I had a dime every time my physician told me I need to get physically active, I’d be rich…Unfortunately they are right.  Exercise is important for all aspects of your health and it is also very important for those with sleep apnea. Making sure you throw in cardio will also give you the double benefit of keeping your heart healthy, so get running!

  1. Limit Alcohol and Avoid Caffeine Before Bed

We all love our beer, but our beer does not love us. Same goes for that double-crossing coffee cup! If you are pulling a late night for work, or if you are wanting something to relax you when you get home from that same job you may want to reach for a cup of decaffeinated tea instead. It comes in a lot of great flavors, and chamomile may even give you the added benefit of helping you sleep later that night!

  1. Get a CPAP Machine

Out of all of these options, this may be the most important. CPAP machines, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines, really save lives by keeping you breathing at night and helping you stay asleep. The American College of Cardiology has even gone as far as to state that treatment lowers high blood pressure! You will need to talk to your doctor and schedule a sleep study, or take a home sleep test, which will let you know exactly what therapy is right for you. Once you have learned what type of sleep apnea you have and what type of machine you need, ask about what features you can get and determine what is right for you and your budget. And of course, those of us at Respshop.com are always here to help you with any questions you may have and can easily be reached at 866-936-3754.

 

It is almost a universal truth that sleep apnea is hard to live with. It makes us tired, it makes us cranky when we least expect it, and it can affect our health. However, it is manageable! Through proper life changes, open conversations with our doctors, and CPAPs we can take back control of our lives and our health. We can even make our hearts healthier one night’s sleep at a time.

Sleep Apnea & Women

There is one universal truth for every working woman: That alarm clock rings just way too early! Often, it seems, you can go through the day groggy, tired, and a little irritable at times. This appears to be normal, but when the third coffee cup just doesn’t seem to cut it many people are often left to wonder if this guise of “normal” really isn’t normal at all.

The simple answer, however, is nothing more than a suspicious maybe; The straight forward answer is a little more complicated than that.

For women especially, sleep apnea is hard to diagnose. Not only are symptoms often different than a man’s, but according to the National Sleep Foundation oftentimes sleep apnea for a woman is misdiagnosed. In fact, they have stated that 8-9 men per 1 woman were originally diagnosed, and while research is showing that gap is closing there are still women who are getting missed. Though these patients who fall through the gaps are facing more than just lack of sleep. Depression, complications in pregnancies and menopause, heart disease, diabetes, and even a shortened life span are all side effects of sleep apnea. So, what’s a lady to do?

Well, first, you can recognize the symptoms. As stated prior, sleep apnea is often quite different in women, so while a woman can have the traditional symptoms like snoring, often their symptoms are less pronounced. Symptoms to look for are:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Morning Headaches
  • Mood Disturbances
  • Restless Legs at Night
  • Depression
  • Lack of Energy
  • Light or even Subtle Snoring
  • Tiny Breaks in Breathing at Night

These symptoms can present themselves as many things, which is a leading reason for misdiagnosis,however, one should still remind their doctor not to rule out sleep apnea if you have one or multiple of these symptoms. sleep apnea is common with ¼ of women over 65 estimated to have this problem, and with 14% of them experiencing severe sleep apnea. Still, sleep apnea affects all ages so if you are having symptoms don’t wait to talk to your doctor.

So, you’re a woman and you think you might have sleep apnea. What now? In this case you would request a sleep study. If you’re short on time or can’t get your insurance to pay for one RespShop does offer our own sleep study for as low as $249. Sleep studies are crucial to understanding how severe your sleep apnea is, what type you have, and how to best combat it. If it is determined that you do, in fact, have sleep apnea you will be presented with a shiny new prescription and with this you can finally move on to your last step: Buying the right equipment!

What you need and what you should buy all depends on the aforementioned prescription. If you have central sleep apnea you will need a BiPAP/BiLevel machine. However, if you have the more common Obstructive sleep apnea a manual or Auto will be more appropriate, again depending on your prescription. However, if you have Obstructive sleep apnea and are a woman you are in luck.

The Airsense 10 Autoset for Her

Realizing the difference in Women’s sleep apnea, ResMed rose to the challenge of creating the first machines made specifically for women. This machine is one of the first such machines! The Airsense 10 Autoset for her uses a specialized algorithm that can detect an episode in a single breath. This allows the CPAP to adjust as needed to what you need that night! It also comes with an EPR feature- or Expiratory Pressure Relief- that allows the machine to adjust for comfortability! Other great features include the RAMP, Mask Fitting Feature, and Smart Start/Stop! Added to the ResMed AirView data sharing service, which is free with this machine, and you (and your doctor) will love how easy it is to get readings, adjust therapy, and get you sleeping like a baby again!

For Her Mask Line by ResMed

ResMed did not stop with the CPAP machine, they also completely revamped the mask sizing. Since sleep apnea was wrongly considered a “man’s disease” for many years sizing was, in most part, designed for men. Realizing the folly with this mindset ResMed got to work creating Full Face, Nasal, and Nasal pillow masks designed specifically for Women’s more petite facial features. Because of this, if you have ever had problem finding a mask that fit your face, we would highly recommend trying the For Her line.

Sleep Apnea and CPAP Therapy in US Federal Prisons

By Nate L,

When I was in middle school, my dad’s snoring went from obnoxious to dangerous. He found it difficult to breathe while lying down, and he began waking abruptly in the night, gasping for breath. He was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and began using a CPAP therapy machine. For a while, he was alright. He still couldn’t spend much time in the pool or camp without his CPAP, but he was doing well. Then the unthinkable happened. My dad was convicted of a felony and sentenced to 3 and a half years in federal prison. We were all devastated, but it never occurred to us that the prison system itself could pose a danger to his health. America’s federal prison system displays a blatant disregard for the health of its inmates, a disregard that merely reflects the opinions of many Americans.

When my dad arrived at the Englewood federal prison in Denver, Colorado, he understandably wasn’t allowed to bring his CPAP with him, and instead had to request one from the medical services there. This wouldn’t have been a problem, but the medical professionals employed at Englewood were frequently overworked or apathetic, and requests for vital life-saving medicine could take weeks to process. Luckily, my dad managed to get his CPAP before suffering any permanent adverse effects, but the neglect didn’t stop at breathing machines. A friend of my father’s, a man called Bear, spent some time in the solitary confinement unit at Englewood. It was midwinter in Denver, and the cell had a broken window and little insulation. The cold was a constant danger, and inmates in solitary were forced to invent all sorts of tricks to keep heat in, but there wasn’t much that could really be done. The prison officials seemed to be of the opinion that, if no one was dying, there wasn’t a problem. After all, these men were convicted criminals. Who cared about their health?

This mentality regarding our inmates is far too prevalent and very damaging to those it effects. As the country with the second-highest incarceration rate in the world, we need to be concerned about how we treat our inmates, if only because we or our loved ones might end up in prison one day. I don’t mean that prison should be an enjoyable experience, but it should at least be safe. If an inmate needs medical help, it is our duty to ensure that he or she has access to it. To refuse such service would surely constitute cruel and unusual punishment, a concept that a disturbing number of Americans seem to be unaffected by. Remember, these inmates are people. They love, they feel, and they hurt, just like you and I.

If the idea of an inmate in pain doesn’t move you, then think of the others affected by the situation. My dad was lucky; he was never in serious medical danger, and he got care before his problem could become severe. But imagine how my nine-year old little sister would’ve been affected if her dad had gone off to prison, then died of completely preventable causes. My dad has since been released on parole, and was the one to carry the weight when my mom underwent several operations for kidney and thyroid cancer. How would we have made it through if the prison medical staff had felt a bit less urgency in getting a CPAP for a new inmate? I can’t see how we would have. The inmates aren’t the only ones affected by our collective lack of empathy for them. If our prison system lets an inmate die, it crushes a family, destroys a daughter, and scars a son.

My dad’s sleep apnea affects him to this day, but the availability of CPAP therapy has nearly made it a non-issue. He doesn’t fear for his life every time he lies down to sleep at night. My siblings and I have our father back, and all is well. This is the ending I want to see for each of the over 1.5 million inmates in this country. Our inmates are serving out their sentences. Don’t risk their lives as well.

My Mother Snores like a Freight Train

By Natasha D,

“Hey girls, does Booboo ever hit you in the face at night while you are trying to sleep?” my mother asked my sister and I one morning.

“Uh no, he just knocks all our stuff over,” I replied.

“I bet it is because you snore like a freight train!” my little sister said laughing.

My mother has snored ever since I started forming memories. She snores so loudly at times that she has awoken the whole house up. Booboo was a rescued cat I got when I was in first grade. We bottle fed him as a kitten, so he only knew us as his family. At the time, this event was occurring he was still a very young energetic cat. Every night for two years our orange tabby would sleep next to my mother in bed. At random intervals throughout the night, my mother would be awoken to Booboo hitting her in the face with his paw. He did it over and over until she woke up and told him to go away. Mom started noticing she was not getting a very restful night’s sleep.

Mom started locking the door to her bedroom before she went to bed at night. Booboo can open all the doors in the house except if they are locked, so this kept him from going into the room and waking her up. She continued to notice that she was not getting a restful amount of sleep even without the cat in her bedroom. She also noticed that she would wake herself up at night feeling as though she could not catch her breath. After about a week of this occurring, she decided that it was not the cat that was making her not get a restful night’s sleep. Worrying about her Diabetes, she mentioned the

 

 

 

occurrences to her doctor. The doctor sent her to a sleep specialist where they hooked her up to all sorts of machines and watched her sleep to determine why she was not sleeping well.

The results came back and stated that my mom was suffering from Sleep Apnea. She was not getting a restful night’s sleep because she would quit breathing during the night. The doctors ordered her a CPAP machine soon after the diagnosis. She allowed Booboo to again sleep in her room. Every night until she received her breathing machine, Booboo would again go through his routine of waking her up by hitting her with his paw over and over. She would wake up and tell him to go away; he would, then repeat the same actions again later in the night.

My mother receiving her CPAP machine has dramatically changed the way that she acts. Instead of waking up tired and grouchy, she wakes up in a good mood felling refreshed and ready for the day. Having a CPAP machine also improved the ability for her to control her diabetes more effectively. Her blood glucose levels are maintained enough now because she is getting enough sleep, that she does not have to take insulin like she once did.

Not only has the CPAP machine helped my mother sleep, it also quiets her snoring and coughing in her sleep. It was so bad that many times my sister and I would sleep with a pillow and all our blankets over our heads. Before the machine, she was always grumpy. When she would take us to school, many times she would get us to school late because she just could not get moving in the morning before the machine.

Booboo turns 15 this year. He remains the hero of our household. At the time, no one realized it, but he was saving my mother’s life every time he would wake her up. He could somehow tell that she was not breathing, and put his best effort into waking her up to breath. Presently, Booboo never wakes

 

my mom up at night unless she falls asleep without her CPAP machine on. Boo remains the guardian of the house as he watches over everyone going from room to room to check on us. He frequently opens the doors just that to ensure his family is alright inside their individual rooms.

Sleep Apnea as a Student

By: Matias B

 

No wonder every time I seated myself in pre-calculus my eyes would droop into slumber. A slumber so needed, yet so misunderstood, fighting the urge was my greatest battle during class. Pop quizzes were my worst nightmare. Barely alert enough to answer the simplest of questions, I quivered at the thought of disappointing my teachers. No one tolerated my inattentive behavior because sleep apnea was simply not a proper “excuse”. They claimed I was just “lazy,” “confused”, “ill prepared”, or “uninterested” in school. But how I wanted to succeed in school; how long I stayed up studying before the curse of irregular sleep patterns haunted the night. Still, when the time came to deliver my knowledge, waves of fatigue pulled me to stupor like quicksand in the struggle to break free.

Processing information, using memory, learning, and effective working strategies during day time hours were luxuries most of my friends took for granted. Complaints from my peers of getting only 5 hours of sleep the night prior were common; unfortunately, I could not find sympathy. Coming from a place where I woke up anywhere from 4 to 6 times an hour, it was like comparing a nightmare with sleep-deprivation torture. If only they could feel the experience. If only they could—just for once—witness firsthand, shortness of breath the countless times I did every night. The only relief you could find, in the life-partner machine occupying the left side of the bed.

The mask that covers my face through the night renders me a patient of illness, but the world can’t seem to recognize it. All they see are the waking hour effects of a sleep disorder on performance, executive functioning, and attentiveness—qualities that when cultivated are required to be successful in a competitive world. But in a cutthroat society, who really cares? As long as you succeed, the steps taken are overlooked and undervalued. I need continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) just to avoid the debilitating effects of sleep apnea on efficient work. At the same time, I can’t blame my condition for the hurdles in my life; I need to push onward and manage like everyone else. I need to transform the torture of sleep apnea into an impractical nightmare and find perspective on the greater issues in life. Each one of us has our own respective obstacles to overcome, and mine is just a breath away.