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Sleep Apnea Screenings: A Must for Bend’s High-Energy Community

For many people, Bend, Oregon, is a town packed with abundant natural beauty and energy. Known to be an outdoor paradise, with numerous activities to captivate its correct inhabitants, the city boasts a strong, healthy community full of runners, bikers, skiers and climbers. With such a fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle, it’s only natural that the city’s inhabitants are constantly outdone by lethargy and low energy levels. However, while feeling tired is a quite common symptom of many health issues, such as sleep apnea, most Bend residents may not be aware of the risks involved and the importance of receiving regular screenings.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which people stop breathing for brief periods while they are sleeping. This can occur as many as 30 or more times an hour, with each period of apnea lasting for 10 seconds or more.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which the airway is repeatedly blocked or partially collapsed during sleep. This not only leads to shallow breathing and poor sleep quality, but also can impact overall health. Untreated sleep apnea can be associated with dangerous medical conditions, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and depression.

Are You At Risk of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect anyone nearly at any age, although it is most common in middle-aged and older adults. Certain factors may put individuals at a higher risk of developing the disorder, these can include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Havings a family history of sleep apnea
  • Having a thicker neck circumference
  • Being male
  • Having a narrow airway
  • Having enlarged tonsils or adenoids

Additionally, certain traits, including small jawbone, bone deformities of the head and neck, and having a receding chin, may also increase the risk of developing sleep apnea.

The Importance of Sleep Apnea Screenings

Given the dangers of untreated sleep apnea, it is crucial that individuals be screened accordingly in order to diagnose the disorder early on. In some cases, a simple at-home sleep test can be used to assist in diagnosis. Conversely, for those considered to be at a high-risk for sleep apnea, a sleep study done at a qualified facility is required.

Fortunately, for residents of Bend, Oregon, there are various facilities that can assist in the diagnosis of sleep apnea. The Central Oregon Sleep Center, for example, is specifically designed to diagnose and treat a variety of sleep disorders. For those in search of a screening with the convenience of staying at home, Prodigy Sleep Diagnostics has an at-home sleep study package that can help in spotting the disorder and taking appropriate action without setting foot into a sleep center.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Upon receiving a diagnosis, many individuals needlessly worry about the treatment for sleep apnea. However, in addition to making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, quitting smoking or avoiding alcohol and sedatives, it’s important to know that there are several different treatment options available.

Most commonly, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the recommended treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. This device involves wearing a mask while sleeping, which delivers a continuous stream of air to the individual’s upper airway in order to prevent apnea events.

Oral appliances and surgery can also be used as a treatment option, although these are not generally recommended unless the CPAP device fails to work. There are also a variety of alternative treatments, such as positional training and taking certain over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Conclusion

For the vibrant, high-energy community that encompasses Bend, Oregon, it is important to be aware of the dangers of sleep apnea and the necessity of receiving regular screenings. This disorder is common and can lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, if left untreated. Fortunately, there are various facilities in Bend that can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea, providing residents with the peace of mind that their health is in good hands.