What is Sleep Apnea and How Can it Be Treated?

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What is Sleep Apnea?

What is sleep apnea? Is it Dangerous?

Sleep apnea is a life-threatening sleep disorder whereby breathing ceases and begins continuously. You may have this disorder if you frequently snore and are fatigued although you’ve had a good night’s rest.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

  • Mood swings
  • Not being able to focus while awake
  • Very sleepy throughout the day
  • Waking up with a headache and dry mouth in the mornings
  • Not being able to breathe properly while asleep
  • Someone lets you know that you stop breathing while sleeping
  • Snoring loudly

When Should I See My Doctor?

Although loud snoring may signal a huge issue, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea. If you experience indications or symptoms of sleep apnea, as mentioned above, consult your doctor immediately.

Sleep Apnea-Related Risk Factors

Overweight: Obesity raises the chances of sleep apnea significantly. Excess fat in your airways may be obstructing your breathing.

Neck width: Airways may be thinner in people with broader necks.

Heredity: If your relatives have sleep apnea, it may raise your risk of having it as well.

Alcohol abuse: Excessive alcohol use can relax your throat muscles, which might exacerbate sleep apnea.

Smoking: Smokers often struggle with sleep apnea. This is because fluid accumulation and  inflammation in the upper airway are exacerbated by smoking.

Nasal congestion: You’re more prone to having sleep apnea if you have trouble breathing via your nose. This is often due to seasonal allergies or other respiratory conditions.

Health problems: Chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can raise your risk of sleep apnea. A history of stroke, hormonal abnormalities, and chronic respiratory conditions, like bronchitis and asthma, can also raise your chances.

Getting older: Sleep apnea is frequent in people in their forties and fifties, as well as those who are older.

Gender: Unfortunately, sleep apnea is seen more in males than females.

How Can Sleep Apnea Be Treated?

For less serious cases, your doctor will suggest some lifestyle changes, which may include weight reduction, not smoking or drinking, or treatment for seasonal allergies. If that doesn’t work, sleep apnea can be treated using the following methods:

Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)

Mandibular advancement device is an innovative therapy option that decreases throat tightness and inhibits sleep apnea and snoring. It does so by briefly shifting the jaw and tongue outward to expand the airway. This will help you sleep better at night and wake up feeling more rested.

Oxygen Supplementation

You can recover from sleep apnea with the help of extra oxygen. It will supply oxygen to your airways, allowing you to breathe more easily at night. There are a number of technologies that can assist you in increasing your oxygen consumption.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Sleep apnea patient who is using a CPAP Machine to treat this issue
Sleep apnea patient who is using a CPAP Machine to treat this issue

CPAP is beneficial for people who suffer from mild to severe sleep apnea. It provides air pressure via a mask while you sleep at night. In comparison to the surrounding air, the air pressure in a CPAP machine is slightly higher. This helps keep your trachea (windpipe) open, while also preventing apnea as well as snoring.

Despite the fact that CPAP is the most common and successful treatment for sleep apnea, many patients find it to be quite uncomfortable. As a result, some people stop using their CPAP machines. The masks’ straps, on the other hand, can be adjusted to produce a secure and comfortable fit.

Sleep apnea can be treated in a variety of ways other than the ones mentioned above. To discover more about the numerous treatment options available, speak with your doctor.

Conclusion

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder in which a person stops breathing while sleeping. Excessive fatigue, snoring, dry mouth, and headaches are all side effects from sleep apnea.  Thankfully, treatments such as the mandibular advancement device, CPAP, and oxygen supplementation are available to help you sleep better at night. There are many other therapeutic alternatives available. Consult your doctor today, if you feel you are suffering from sleep apnea.