Sleep apnea: a serious problem
Sleep apnea is caused by a relaxing of the throat muscles during sleep, which obstructs airways and reduces the intake of oxygen. These involuntary pauses in breathing will make a person wake up several times during the night and will increase their heart rate.
Too many people who suffer from sleep apnea have never received a diagnosis. In fact, up to 25% of men, 10% of women, and 1% of children suffer from this condition. However, approximately 82% of men and 93% of women with sleep apnea remain undiagnosed.
Symptoms and consequences of sleep apnea
How can you tell if you suffer from sleep apnea? Here are some symptoms of this condition:
- Loud snoring and pauses in breathing while sleeping (which are often noticed by the spouse)
- A person will frequently wake up during the night, which hinders the length and quality of their sleep
- Irritability, excessive fatigue, and headache after waking up
- Dry mouth and sore throat after waking up
- Drowsiness during the day, difficulty focusing
- Erectile dysfunction and lower sex drive
If sleep apnea remains untreated, it can have serious, even fatal consequences:
- Cardiovascular conditions: sleep apnea causes an increase in blood pressure and increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Dangers due to lack of sleep: fatigue and drowsiness during the day increases the risk of accidents, especially while driving.
How do you know if you are at risk?
Some lifestyle habits or health conditions increase the risk of sleep apnea, including:
- Consumption of alcohol, tranquilizers, or sleeping pills
- Physiological factors (frequent nasal congestion, thick neck)
- Hypertension and heart failure
If you notice that you have symptoms or are part of a high-risk group because of your health condition or lifestyle habits, we strongly recommend you consult our professionals who will evaluate your condition and, if needed, provide in-home follow ups for your sleep apnea.
Getting a diagnosis with a home sleep test and polysomnography
Diagnosing sleep apnea can only be done using a polysomnography, which is a sleep test carried out overnight. The polysomnography is produced using a specialized device that monitors your breathing parameters and abnormal breathing events, or apnea (pauses in breathing).
Clinique GO™ offers an in-home approach to help you treat your sleep apnea. Our methods are based on the current best practices and will deliver the best results. Clinique GO™ provides an approach that is tailored to your lifestyle in the comfort of your own home.
Here’s how it works:
- 1. A medical prescription (one from a general practitioner is sufficient) is necessary to pass a polysomnography, or sleep test. If you need this prescription, Clinique GO™ has a physician on staff who can come to your home or provide teleconsultation services for certain benign conditions.
- 2. With your prescription, a sleep apnea technician or respiratory therapist will travel to your home with the equipment necessary and explain to you how it works. After the demonstration, you will be able to use the device over the following night to monitor your breathing. The technician will generally pick up the device on the following day.
- 3. The results are then quickly analyzed by a respiratory therapist and interpreted by a pulmonologist. This interpretation is covered by your Quebec health insurance card, which you will need.
- 4. If the test is positive, our team will quickly refer you to a pulmonologist. However, you will have to travel to Montreal for this physical exam which generally lasts 20 to 30 minutes. During this visit, in addition to examining you, the pulmonologist will determine which treatment, if necessary, is required to take care of your apnea. This is also covered by your Quebec health insurance card.
Treating sleep apnea
Most people who suffer from sleep apnea use a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure) and nasal or face mask.
The CPAP machine clears the upper airways during sleep by continuously delivering compressed air. That prevents the throat muscles from relaxing and in turn prevents apnea. The quality of your sleep will improve, and you’ll avoid the negative consequences of untreated sleep apnea.
If a CPAP machine is necessary, our in-home approach will ensure you get expert advice for choosing the right machine. We’ll also provide support during the period of adaptation. A sleep apnea technician or respiratory therapist will also remotely follow up with you to make sure the treatment is always adapted to your condition. In-person consultations might also be recommended during this process.
Services reimbursed by many private insurers
Many private insurance companies will reimburse part or the entirety of the sleep test and purchase of a CPAP machine. We recommend you contact your insurer before going forward. The interpretation of your breathing parameters by the pulmonologist and physical exam, if needed, are covered by your health insurance card (RAMQ).
If you have questions about our in-home respiratory therapy services for diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, please contact our team. We are committed to providing a quick and efficient service, adapted to your needs and delivered by certified professionals.
Which areas do our sleep technicians and respiratory therapists travel to?
Clinique GO™ offer in-home treatment and in-home follow-ups for sleep apnea in Montreal, including Greater Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, Monteregie and the North Shore of Montreal.
You will find all the areas we serve by clicking here.