Sleep Apnea is a serious condition that affects millions of people worldwide. If left untreated, the side effects can be fatal. If you suspect that you or a loved one has this condition, speak with a sleep specialist or a doctor as soon as possible.
There are ways to help you breathe more easily at night. You want to wake up feeling well-rested, not jolted awake by a choking sensation. Chronic sleep disruptions can really take a toll on your emotional and physical health.
Today, I'm going to talk about symptoms and treatment options for sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
First of all, what is sleep apnea? It's a disorder in which breathing starts and stops. Your airway is blocked, so your brain is not able to get the oxygen it needs. The hiatus in breathing can last up to ten seconds.
This sleep disorder is life threatening, so it's critical to seek help if you think that you may have it. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but most people who have sleep apnea do snore. It's worth it to investigate this link.
If you're not sure if you have sleep apnea, record yourself sleeping or ask a partner. If you hear gasping or choking sounds, you may have sleep apnea.
- Fatigue in daytime
- Loud snoring
- Sore throat
- Abrupt wakings
- Choking or gasping sounds
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty concentration
- Sexual dysfunction
- Memory problems
There are a number of causes of sleep apnea, including having a small respiratory airway. If you have a large tongue, tonsils, or uvula you may be at a greater risk.
Being overweight and having a large neck can play a role. The tongue and tongue muscles become more relaxed, causing a potential airway blockage. Smokers and people over the age of 40 have a higher risk of developing this sleeping disorder.
If you find that the cause is due to something within your control, try to work on this issue. However, often times, you cannot control the fact that you have this issue.
First, speak to your doctor and go to a sleep study. You'll spend the night at the clinic and specialists will monitor your respiratory effort and blood oxygen levels.
Try to make a few lifestyle changes, such as reducing your alcohol consumption, quitting your smoking habit, sleeping in a different position, and losing weight. If this does not help, you may need to try Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy.
You place a mask over your nose and mouth that will gently deliver a continuous stream of air through your airway. The last resort would be surgery to remove tissue that is blocking your air pathway.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may have sleep apnea, do not wait long before seeking treatment. It cannot hurt to speak with a doctor. If you know that you snore loudly and you always wake up feeling exhausted, you may or may not have sleep apnea.
Why take the chance on your life? You need to breath in order to live. Sleep specialists are there to help you through the assessment process and assist you in coming up with a treatment plan that is right for you.
You deserve to have a peaceful and comfortable slumber! Best wishes.
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