A shocking 22 million Americans live with a health condition called sleep apnea, whereby breathing stops and starts repeatedly as they doze. With sleep apnea, breathing during sleep is impaired due to an obstructed airway.
Sleep apnea has a negative impact on sleep quality and raises the risk of heart disease, gout and diabetes.
There are three types of sleep apnea, including obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea syndrome. Understanding the symptoms and learning how to treat them is key to getting deep and healing rest, as well as avoiding sleep apnea-related health risks.
What are the symptoms?
One of the telltale signs of sleep apnea is frequent and loud snoring. People with this disorder may also make gasping or choking sounds as they sleep. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include pauses in breathing during sleep, exhaustion during the day, headaches in the a.m., memory loss and mental fog.
Some people with sleep apnea will wake up during the night because they need to urinate. This health issue may also contribute to loss of libido, irritable mood and insomnia. Nocturnal polysomnography tests and home sleep tests are used to confirm or exclude the presence of sleep apnea.
Lifestyle changes may be beneficial
Some people who have sleep apnea are overweight. When they lose weight, they may find that their sleep apnea symptoms are reduced or eliminated. Bedtester.com asserts that sleeping on an adjustable mattress which offers the right level of sleep support will also be helpful. Changing your sleeping position may be beneficial. Side sleeping is the best sleeping position for those with sleep apnea.
When a person with this sleep disorder chooses a side sleeping position, there is less likelihood of relaxed throat muscles blocking the airway. While lifestyle changes may be very helpful, more intensive treatment is sometimes needed.
CPAP therapy is a trusted treatment
With continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, mild air pressure is utilized in order to keep airways open during sleep. CPAP machines are used to this deliver mild air pressure. People with sleep apnea wear masks over their mouths and noses (or just their noses). The masks are attached to tubes that are connected to the motors of CPAP machines. The motors push air into tubes. By keeping airways open, CPAP machines and accessories ease or stop sleep apnea symptoms. When CPAP therapy doesn’t bring desired results, surgery may be necessary, but most people do get good results from CPAP treatment.
Now that you know more about sleep apnea, which causes a range of negative symptoms, as well as long-term health risks, you may want to talk to your doctor. If your doctor diagnoses you with sleep apnea, lifestyle changes may be enough to soothe your symptoms. If lifestyle changes don’t do the trick, CPAP therapy or surgery should help you to get a good night’s rest.