Neglecting symptoms of sleep apnea can lead you to a downward spiral. It’s not just a matter of waking up on the wrong side of the bed, sleep apnea can affect almost every aspect of your life, leading to terrible mood swings, reduced work productivity, and poor relationships with those around you.
Hence, the first step to managing sleep apnea is monitoring the severity of the condition and ensuring the prescribed apnea treatment is effective in alleviating any symptoms. Thankfully, the LOOKEE® Sleep Oxygen Monitors can do just that!
Forms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can occur due to different factors leading to varying forms of the sleep disorder. However, the common symptom amongst each type of sleep apnea is an inability to have a good night's rest without the body's respiratory process being disrupted.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common type, is caused by an obstruction of the upper respiratory tract. During an apneic episode, the muscles in the throat relax and can no longer support the surrounding tissue to keep the airway open. Hence, many people suffering from the condition wake up abruptly, gasping for air and even choking. This may happen frequently throughout the night and is a very unpleasant experience.
Central sleep apnea (CSA), a rarer form of the sleep disorder, occurs differently compared to OSA but also interrupts the normal respiratory function. During central sleep apnea, the brain fails to send the correct signals to the body to continue involuntary breathing while a person sleeps. This too, occurs multiple times throughout the night, leading to insufficient ventilation and apnea events.
When a patient experiences both obstructive and central sleep apnea, they suffer from what's known as complex sleep apnea. Apnea treatments such as PAP may be used to aid the condition. However, while the airway will be kept open to allow for breathing to take place, the body will still fail to send the right signals to continue breathing. Other treatments such as adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) may be recommended to treat complex and central sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Induced Hypoxemia
While poor quality of sleep is one of the major symptoms of sleep apnea, its long-term effects can have a severe impact on the body's overall functioning. This includes increasing cholesterol and blood pressure levels, exacerbating asthma symptoms, contributing to heart complications, and weakening the body's immune system. Another worrying symptom of sleep apnea is low blood-oxygen levels, also known as hypoxemia.
When the upper airway is repeatedly blocked throughout sleep, the alveoli in the lungs are not filled with enough air and hence cannot properly oxygenate the blood passing through. Oxygenated blood provides vital organs and tissues with the nutrients they need to function as normal. Thus, oxygen desaturation within the blood can lead to a number of health issues.
Sleep apnea patients who experience hypoxemia may experience headaches, restlessness, rapid breathing, lack of coordination, and a rapid heartbeat. This can also occur due to poor blood circulation caused by the condition. Thanks to devices like the LOOKEE® Fingertip Pulse Oximeters, patients can now conveniently measure their blood-oxygen levels whenever they need to.
How The LOOKEE® Sleep Oxygen Monitors Work
One of the most unpleasant parts of sleep apnea is having to wake up to choking and recurring coughing fits throughout the night. Our monitors were designed to give sleep apnea patients peace of mind before going to bed. After being slipped onto a finger, the LOOKEE® Ring-Pro Sleep Oxygen Monitor consistently tracks oxygen levels.
As mentioned previously, apnea events negatively impact oxygen levels as a person’s breathing is disrupted. Eventually, the body has to force itself to wake up. Once our sleep oxygen monitors detect an abnormal drop in oxygen levels, they automatically send a gentle vibration, alerting the patient to change their sleeping position and prevent an apnea event from occurring.
By making use of medical-grade high-resolution sensors and a built-in app that records sleep activity, patients can easily review their oxygen saturation levels and present reports to healthcare professionals.
Which Sleep Apnea Treatment is Most Effective?
Sleep apnea machines that use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) have become popular treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. These machines deliver a steady flow of air to the lungs so that breathing does not become inhibited while a patient sleeps.
However, in conditions like severe central and complex sleep apnea, CPAP and BiPAP may not be as effective as a very specific airflow pressure may be needed. In such instances, patients might have to consider specialized treatments such as auto-adjusting pressure (APAP) machines. They change and adapt airflow pressure to suit their sleeping position. Some patients have the condition as a result of a naturally narrow airway. They may need to undergo surgery to physically prop open the airway, allowing oxygen to reach the lungs more easily.
Traditional or more common sleep apnea treatments may not be as effective for every person suffering from the condition. Our sleep monitors can help test the effectiveness of CPAP and BiPAP machines by monitoring oxygen levels while in use. Now, patients do not have to wonder why they still can't have a good night's rest and adapt their treatment accordingly.
Sleep Apnea Treatments:
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome:
Sleep Apnea and Its Causes:
American College of Cardiology - Basics of Central Sleep Apnea:
What is obstructive sleep apnea?:
The Effects of Sleep Apnea on the Body: