Central Respiratory Care: Where We Come To You!
Central Respiratory Care: Where We Come To You!
Central Respiratory Care: Where We Come To You!
Central Respiratory Care: Where We Come To You!
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Central Respiratory Care: Where We Come To You!


Sleep Apnea
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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a breathing problem that
only occurs when we sleep. The upper airway keeps
blocking because the tongue and upper muscles in the
throat relax causing an obstruction in breathing (apnea)
lasting 10 – 60 seconds. This obstruction or pause in
breathing occurs every 12 minutes and in severe cases
as often as every 30 seconds. The pauses are followed
by gasping, snoring, or thrashing around.

Types of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea has already been described.

In Central Sleep Apnea, the brain fails to send the
signals to inhale and exhale to the muscles that control
the body’s breathing, causing the sleeper to miss one
or more cycles of breathing.

Mixed Sleep Apnea is a combination of obstructive
and central sleep apnea.

Who has Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
  • OSA occurs in all age groups and both sexes
    but is more common in men
  • Approximately 3 million Canadians have OSA:
    4% of middle-aged men and 2% of middle-aged
  • Incidence rises as we age with 25% of seniors
    (over 65) having OSA
  • People most likely to have or develop sleep
    apnea include those who snore loudly and also
    who are overweight, or have high blood pressure,
    or those who have physical abnormality in the
    nose, throat, or other parts of the upper airway
  • Sleep apnea seems to run in some families,
    suggesting a possible genetic basis
  • Most people with OSA don’t know they have it,
    and are not treated
What are the most common Symptoms?
  • Snoring and pauses in breathing
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • High blood pressure
  • Morning headaches
  • Poor judgment or concentration
  • Higher risk people include those with obesity, a
    thick neck, and those who drink alcohol prior to
    bedtime. Unfortunately, only 5% of patients are
    diagnosed and treated for their obstructive
    sleep apnea
Ask us about our FREE Sleep Apnea Test

Health Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea

  • Heart problems
  • Heart attacks
  • Poor quality of life
  • High blood pressure
  • Strokes
  • Death
  • Car accidents and work related accidents
    due to sleepiness
Currently, there is no cure for sleep apnea, so it is
very important that you continue your therapy. If
you stop therapy, your sleep apnea will return

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is a
small pressurized device that provides a gentle flow
of positive pressure through a mask that fits over
your nose or over your mouth and nose to help
keep the airways open during sleep. This also
prevents snoring and allows for a normal breathing
pattern and a peaceful night’s sleep.

It is well documented and proven that CPAP is a
very effective treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Although CPAP is the treatment of choice, some
patients find it challenging to accept and use.
Please do not stop CPAP without consulting your
doctor, who can help you with alternative
treatments if you are unable to tolerate CPAP

CPAP is not an easy therapy to use and involves
a period of adjustment. Some people may give up
if they do not notice a big change right away but
you have to remember that it is relieving the strain
placed on the heart and other organs. Problems
such as mask fit, sores or redness around the nose,
and dryness or nasal congestion are common
obstacles that discourage patients. Your therapist
can usually work with you to resolve all of these
issues. Once problems are solved, you begin to
feel more rested and have more energy

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