Do you snore?

My CPAP machine

I was recently diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.  Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition where deep sleep is interrupted by the lack of oxygen to the brain and the inability of the body to breathe regularly.  This arousal is caused primarily by a constriction or collapse of the airway due to the relaxation of the soft palate muscle in the back of the throat.  The vibration of the soft palate against to walls of the airway are what causes snoring.  The goal of a good night’s sleep is to obtain the final sleep stage called Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (or REM sleep).  The most common treatment to correct sleep apnea is a therapy called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (or CPAP).  This is achieved by using a breathing apparatus that acts like a vacuum in reverse.  The machine pumps a continuous and steady amount of air pressure into the throat which lifts up the soft palate and opens the airway for more efficient breathing.  Obtaining this device requires at least two overnight sleep studies with detailed monitoring.  Most insurance plans will cover a majority of the costs.  Typical sleep studies cost between $1000 to $5000.  CPAP machines can cost between $100 for basic models to over $1000 for high-end models.

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