Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that makes a person temporarily stop breathing while they sleep.
It happens because muscles in the throat relax during sleep and block the airway. Though there are many kinds of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. Because sleep apnea interrupts sleep, people with the condition may feel sleepy during the day. According to a new study, daytime sleepiness may not be just a nuisance, it could increase the risk of heart disease.
The Sleepiness and Heart Disease Link
Although past research has shown a link between having obstructive sleep apnea and developing heart disease, scientists don’t know why. To find out why a group of researchers examined information from more than 1,000 participants with obstructive sleep apnea.
Researchers followed the participants for about 12 years, placing them into one of four groups. The groups were:
- Those who had disturbed sleep.
- Participants who didn’t have many symptoms.
- People who experienced moderate daytime sleepiness.
- People who experienced severe daytime sleepiness.
The results of the study showed that people in the severe daytime sleepiness group were much more likely to have cardiovascular disease when they enrolled in the study. They were also twice as likely to have heart problems during the course of the study.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Your aging relative may have obstructive sleep apnea without even knowing it. Being able to spot the symptoms can help you to get them treatment to prevent potentially serious complications. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Feeling sleepy during the day.
- Snoring loudly.
- Stopping breathing during sleep and then starting again.
- Waking up gasping and choking.
- Having a dry mouth or sore throat upon waking.
- Headaches in the morning.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Changes in mood, like irritability and depression.
- High blood pressure.
- Night Sweats.
If you’ve observed any of these symptoms in your aging relative, report them to the senior’s doctor. There are treatments available for sleep apnea. The doctor may suggest using a CPAP machine or a device that is inserted into the mouth to keep the jaw thrust forward. If sleep apnea is severe, the doctor may even recommend surgery.
Home care providers can watch for symptoms of sleep apnea and report them to family caregivers. If the senior is diagnosed with the condition, a home care provider can help them to use the CPAP machine or other devices the doctor may suggest. Home care can also help the older adult to keep their CPAP machine clean and free of germs.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Senior Care in Healdsburg, CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.
Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.
Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.
Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.
She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.
Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.
Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.
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