Starting Out: A guide to sleep apnea

If you are like most people, the diagnosis of sleep apnea was a surprise. All of a sudden you have words and phrases like ‘hypopnea’, ‘titration’, and ‘polysomnogram’ thrown at you. Maybe you are told about treatment options, maybe not. Maybe you were told about other health issues that can occur or be made worse with untreated sleep apnea. If you are like most people diagnosed with sleep apnea, your main thought might be “But I don’t WANT to wear one of those breathing masks!”

Face it, we aren’t usually very familiar with most of the issues that surround sleep apnea. We don’t really know what it is, what causes it, how it affects us and what to do about it. Finding a doctor who has the time to answer our questions isn’t easy, even if we know what questions to ask. Looking online for answers can work if we find a reliable website that has wording we can understand. Being sleep deprived can make that hard.

All journeys have to start somewhere and we all know the sleep apnea road is rough. This guide is a good place to start or a way to make the journey easier to understand. It may not have everything you need but it does give information you can use to start a discussion with your doctor about what you need to know and what decisions you need to make.