• What Is Sleep Apnea?

    WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?

    Sleep Apnea Syndrome is a condition that causes you to stop breathing for periods of time while you are asleep. The word “apnea” comes from the Greek word meaning “wanting breath.”  Apneic periods (which may be as short as 10 seconds or may last much longer) typically repeat between 10 to 60 times per hour within a 7-hour night.

     

    THE 3 TYPES OF SLEEP APNEA

    1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):

      OSA , the most common form of sleep disorder, results when certain structures — muscles or tissue at the base of the tongue or back of the throat — relax or sag, blocking the flow of air in and out of the lungs during sleep. Despite valiant efforts, OSA sufferers simply can’t get the oxygen they need, resulting in loud snoring, apneas and frequent arousal from deep sleep.

    2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA):

      This type of apnea results when the brain fails to signal to you to breathe. There would be no obvious signs you are trying to breathe, because your brain has failed to send the message to your respiratory muscles. CSA is less common than OSA.

    3. Mixed Sleep Apnea (MSA):

      As the name implies, this type involves some combination of both OSA and CSA.

    No matter what the cause, if you stop breathing the body cannot get the oxygen it needs to function. This lack of oxygen causes you to wake up from deep sleep just before you begin breathing again. People with severe apnea may suffer from such awakenings as many as 500 times a night because of low oxygen levels. It’s no wonder those with apnea may feel irritable or anxious the next day.

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    SYMPTOMS

    The typical adult sleep apnea patient experiences one or more of the following symptoms, some of which may be noticed by a spouse or co-worker:

    • Excessive daytime sleepiness
    • Greatly reduced energy level
    • Loud irregular snoring
    • Morning headaches
    • Rapid onset of sleep
    • Difficulty Maintaining Sleep, Restless Sleep
    • Irritability or Moodiness
    • Poor Concentration and/or Short-Term Memory Loss
    • Depression or Anxiety
    • Cramping in the Lower Legs
    • Decreased Interest in Sexual Relations
    • High Blood Pressure

    RISK FACTORS AND CAUSES
    • Excess Body Weight
    • Snoring
    • Smoking or Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
    • Airway Anatomy (large tongue, adenoids, tonsils, or uvula; a small upper airway; recessed chin can all contribute to a smaller airway)
    • Nasal Congestion or Allergies
    • Abnormal Relaxation of Throat Muscles (this can be worse if sedatives or alcohol are taken before bedtime)
    • Family History of Sleep Apnea or Snoring
    • Gender (more common in men but risk increases in women during pregnancy or menopause)
    • Race (more common in African Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders)

    CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH SLEEP APNEA
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Gastroesophogeal Reflux (GERD)
    • Stroke
    • Impotence
    • Nocturia (frequent night time urination)

    DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

    Sleep apnea comes in varying degrees of severity and from a variety of causes. Accordingly, there are several different therapeutic options specifically designed to treat each individual patient most effectively. But the first step is to get a proper diagnosis.

    DO I HAVE SLEEP APNEA?

    If you and your doctor suspect that you may have sleep apnea, he or she may first refer you to a Sleep Disorders Center for a sleep test. Sleep Disorders Centers are staffed by physicians and technicians specifically trained in sleep disorders medicine. The physicians who direct the sleep labs are usually pulmonologists or neurologists. Pulmonologists deal primarily with the lungs and airways and are therefore well suited to help patients who have problems breathing while they are asleep. Neurologists have experience reading electroencephalograms (EEGs) and are therefore able to identify sleep stages and associated abnormalities. In some instances a psychiatrist, anesthesiologist, or ear-nose-throat surgeon may also be involved with diagnosing sleep disorders.


    SLEEP DISORDERS CENTERS AND TESTING

    Sleep Disorders Centers are located within hospitals or at independent ambulatory centers. Study rooms are equipped with computerized systems for data collection and recording.

    The usual tests include:

    • Electroencephalogram (Eeg)
    • Electrocardiogram (Ekg)
    • Pulse Oximetry

    Proper diagnosis will usually require the use of an airflow sensor, respiratory effort sensors, a body position sensor, a microphone and a video camera. These devices record many different values while you sleep. After the sleep test is over, your physician will review the measured values and may diagnose you with sleep apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).


    HOME SLEEP TESTING

    Your physician may determine that your sleep test can be performed at home. A home monitor can be used to record heart rate, how air moves in and out of the lungs, the amount of oxygen in the blood and breathing effort.


    TREATMENT OPTIONS

    If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s time to take an important next step: appropriate treatment.

    Treatment options may include:

    • Nasal CPAP or Bilevel PAP
    • Weight Reduction
    • Dental Appliances
    • Surgery

    CPAP AND BILEVEL TREATMENT

    The most common treatment, and the treatment that is widely accepted as the most effective for OSA, is CPAP (pronounced “See-pap”). CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. As the name implies, the CPAP device uses a blower to deliver a constant level of air pressure through a hose that attaches to the nose. This air pressure travels down the nose to the throat to prevent obstruction. In effect, the extra air acts like a splint to hold the airway open and allow for normal breathing. The amount of air pressure can be adjusted according to the severity of OSA and other personal factors.

    For those who have difficulty breathing out against the CPAP pressure, an alternative is BiLevel PAP. BiLevel PAP allows for the pressure that the client exhales against to be lowered, which improves comfort while maintaining enough pressure to keep the airway open.


    STARTING TREATMENT

    When a patient begins using a CPAP/BiLevel machine, the results are almost always immediate and improvement in quality of life is often quite dramatic. In fact, experts agree that the mainstay of OSA treatment is CPAP, while complaints — such as dry nose, mask discomfort or blower noise — are minimal and easily remedied.

    Only patients who have received CPAP treatment for their OSA can truly attest to the dramatic change in lifestyle they have experienced.


    BENEFITS OF GETTING TREATED

    Good news. Yes, sleep disorders can interfere with your quality of life and keep you from attaining your goals, no matter how hard you try. But the good news is that with successful treatment of your sleep disorder you may:

    • Improve your quality of life.
    • Add more years to your life.
    • Greatly reduce the risk of having a heart attack.
    • Greatly reduce the risk of having a stroke.
    • Improve your blood glucose levels.
    • Avoid falling asleep while driving.
    • Wake up refreshed each morning.
    • Wake up without a headache.
    • Be more intelligent and alert.
    • Have better relationships with those close to you.
    • Stop feeling depressed.
    • Lose weight much more easily.
    • Have more fun and enjoyment in life.
    • Have interest in and enjoy a better sex life.
    • Generally be back in control of your life.

    SLEEP APNEA SERVICES

    Merced Medical Supply’s services can help you or the one you care for get treatment for sleep apnea. We offer on-call service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. See below for a list of sleep equipment available from Merced Medical Supply.

    ORDERING SLEEP SUPPLIES

    Most insurances (including Medicare) will pay for replacement supplies as follows:

    Tubing with integrated heating element

    1 every 3 months

    Combination oral/nasal mask

    1 every 3 months

    Oral cushion for combination oral/nasal mask

    2 per month

    Nasal pillows for combination oral/nasal mask

    2 per month

    Full face mask

    1 every 3 months

    Replacement face mask interface for full face mask

    1 per month

    Replacement cushion for nasal mask interface

    2 per month

    Replacement pillows for nasal cannula type interface

    2 per month

    Nasal interface (mask or cannula type)

    1 every 3 months

    Headgear

    1 every 6 months

    Chinstrap

    1 every 6 months

    Tubing

    1 every 3 months

    Disposable filter

    2 per month

    Non-disposable filter

    1 every 6 months

    Replacement water chamber for humidifier

    1 every 6 months

    To order sleep supplies and accessories for your CPAP or BiLevel device, please contact Merced Medical Supply at 209-722-3832

    SLEEP APNEA DEVICES

    Merced Medical Supply provides a wide range of home sleep apnea equipment to help improve the quality of life for our customers. You’ll receive not only equipment, but caring support from our expert staff. Below you can see the types and brands of sleep apnea equipment we have available to patients for rental and/or purchase.

    CPAP DEVICES

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    Single Pressure Positive Airway Pressure Devices. Compact design with C-Flex, and System One™ comfort enhancements.


    >ResMed S9™ Series 199926-sad-resmed-s9-series
    Single Pressure Positive Airway Pressure Device. Compact design with EPR™ (Expiratory Pressure Relief), Enhanced Easy-Breathe™ and optional ClimateLine™ heated tubing for comfort               .


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    Fisher and Paykel Sleep Style™ Series
    Single Pressure Positive Airway Pressure Device. With SensaWake™ (pressure relief) and optional heated breathing tube technology.

     


    BILEVEL DEVICES

    199922-sad-philips-respironics-bipap-st (1)Philips Respironics BiPAP™ S Series
    Dual pressure Positive Airway Device – Spontaneous Breathing. Compact design with Bi-Flex™, and System One™ comfort enhancements.


    199927-sad-resmed-s9-vpap-st-seriesResmed VPAP™ S Series
    Dual pressure Positive Airway Device – Spontaneous Breathing. Compact design with EPR™ (Expiratory Pressure Relief), Enhanced Easy-Breathe™ and optional ClimateLine™ heated tubing for comfort.


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    BILEVEL ST DEVICES

    ResMed S9 VPAP™ ST Series 
    Dual pressure Positive Airway Device – Spontaneous/Timed backup rate. Compact design with Enhanced Easy-Breathe™ and optional ClimateLine™ heated tubing for comfort.


    <199922-sad-philips-respironics-bipap-st (1)Philips Respironics BiPAP™ ST   
    Dual pressure Positive Airway Device – Spontaneous/Timed with backup rate, Digital Auto Trak™, and System One™ Humidity Control.


    199923-sad-philips-respironics-remstar-series

    SPECIALTY BILEVEL DEVICES

    Philips Respironics Auto, AVAPS™
    Dual Pressure Positive Airway device – Non-invasive Ventilation. Adjusts pressure support to meet changing needs. Digital Auto Trak™, and System One™ Humidity Control.


    199929-sad-s9-vpap-adapt-resmedVPAP™ III ST-A (ResMed)             
    Dual Pressure Positive Airway device – Non-invasive Ventilation. Easy-Breathe™, Enhanced Humidification and Alarm Functions.


    199929-sad-s9-vpap-adapt-resmedS9 VPAP Adapt™ (ResMed)         
    Dual Pressure Positive Airway Device – Adaptive Servo Ventilation. Compact design to treat Central, Complex or Mixed Sleep Apnea.


    199869-sad-bipap-auto-sv-philips-respironics (1)BiPAP Auto SV™ (Philips Respironics)    
    Dual Pressure Positive Airway Device – Adaptive Servo Ventilation. Compact – Designed to treat Central, Complex, or Mixed Sleep Apnea.


    PAP MASKS AND ACCESSORIES

    Nasal Pillow Systems

    Opus™ 360 (Fisher and Paykel)
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    Swift™ FX (ResMed)

    Swift™ FX for Her (ResMed)
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    Swift™ LT (ResMed)

    Swift™ LT for Her (ResMed)
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    GoLife™ for Men (Philips Respironics)
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    GoLife™ for Women (Philips Respironics)
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    OptiLife™ (Philips Respironics)
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    Simplicity™ (Philips Respironics)
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    Mirage™ SoftGel (ResMed)
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    Nasal PAP Masks

    Mirage Activa™ LT (ResMed)
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    Mirage™ SoftGel (ResMed)
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    Mirage Micro™ for Kids (ResMed)
    199916-sad-mirage-micro-for-kids-resmed
    Mirage FX (ResMed)
    199913-sad-mirage-fx-resmed

    Mirage Kidsta™ (ResMed)
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    ComfortFusion™ (Philips Respironics)
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    ComfortGel™ (Philips Respironics)
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    ComfortGel™ Blue (Philips Respironics)
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    EasyLife™ (Philips Respironics)
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    ComfortSelect™ (Philips Respironics)
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    ComfortClassic™ (Philips Respironics)
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    Profile™ Lite (Philips Respironics)
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    Full Face PAP Masks

    Quattro™ FX (ResMed)
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    Mirage Quattro™ (ResMed)
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    Mirage Liberty™ (ResMed)
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    FullLife™ (Philips Respironics)
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    ComfortGel™ Full (Philips Respironics)
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    ComfortFull™ 2 (Philips Respironics)
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    FitLife™ (Philips Respironics)

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    Total™ Face Mask (Philips Respironics)

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    Forma™ Full Face Mask (Fisher and Paykel)
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    Accessories

    199880-sad-cpap-pillowsPhilips Respironics BiPAP™ S Series
    CPAP Pillow(s)
    Accommodates the use of CPAP device users.


    199950-sad-zippered-hose-covers
    Zippered Hose Covers
    Helps reduce hose condensation


    199878-sad-contour-cpap-bundle
    Contour CPAP Bundle
    Bundle includes five products to improve comfort for CPAP/BiLevel device users.


    199879-sad-cpap-mask-cleaner
    CPAP Mask Cleaner
    Helps keep your mask clean and safe.


    199948-sad-tubing-and-covers
    Tubing and Covers
    We carry a variety of tubing and tubing cover options to connect mask to device and reduce water condensation in the tubing.