Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

You have 4 minutes left to save your life!!! What happened?!
Think back again, do you have the following

Symptoms/ Health conditions: 

  • poor concentrations?
  • loud snoring?
  • morning headaches?
  • Difficult to fall asleep (insomnia) at night?
  • Always tired during the day? 

and final last 3 questions:
  • Are you an older adult?
  • Smoker?
  • Male or overweight pregnant lady?

If “YES'' to all, you are most likely developed S.l.e.e.p A.p.n.e.a., a type of sleep disorder where irregular breathing stop and start. How does this sleep problem be a silent killer? First, you need to understand how Sleep Apnea comes about.

Types of Sleep Apnea 

Central, Obstructive and Complex Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is classified into Central, Obstructive and Complex.

With Central Sleep Apnea, one might experience shortness of breath due to faulty breathing mechanisms. This troubles someone to sleep well at night and therefore causes poor focus in the next morning or known as daytime drowsiness.

As for the Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the blocked airway will cause lower oxygen intake into the blood. First the brain will instruct the airway to be opened. During this, one will be unable to rest well as subconsciously one will gasp for air. If the oxygen level dropped below 90%, one is in danger. Worst case if no oxygen supply enters the brain, it only takes 4 minutes for one to succumb to death.

Complex Sleep Apnea patients will have similar symptoms like individuals with Central or Obstructive sleep disorder.  But the treatments for these patients are different, they will need to undergo different therapies like Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) and even use Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machines and adaptive servo ventilation device if necessary.

Is Pulse Oximeter best to prevent Sleep Apnea? 

Pulse oximeter

Data collecting monitor

Considering the importance of breathing smoothly and it’s bad complications, we should always monitor our blood oxygen levels and heart rates. But is pulse oximeterthe best solution for us?

It is a device that looks like a clip on your finger-end. It requires cable connections to a small monitor connected for data collections. Fret not, it is not painful and easily removable. This oximeter looks simple and useful, but not for all.

Sometimes when people are in their Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep stages or sleeping on-backs, their readings might be inaccurate due to the different air pressure environment. Similarly for the frequent smokers and diabetics, they might have higher and lower readings respectively. In the case of smokers, their body will produce more hemoglobin to deliver oxygen. While diabetics might have lower blood oxygen levels on their fingertips.

With only pulsation of arterial blood at the measurement site is detected, it is not possible for everyone to detect sleep apnea using traditional pulse oximeters.

When an oximeter is designed in the ring form, it offers improved applications like bluetooth connection with electronic devices for better tracking anywhere and anytime. The tracking interval is even within seconds. It was so convenient for users to get real-time accurate results and could better treat sleep apnea if diagnosed.

Some final thoughts:

Sleep Apnea symptoms might look common and unrelated to sleep disorder as if they are the signs of high stress. But if it is left untreated or overlooked, all it took was 4 minutes to regret the biggest mistake of your life. So, if you care for yourself or your loved ones, take time to understand and care about your or their health conditions. Who knows, you might save their lives one day. Take care and live well!