A Sleep Apnea Survivor's Guide
Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that affects as many as twenty-two million in the United States alone. These cases range from mild to severe obstruction with about eighty percent falling well within the moderate to severe category. It’s a disorder characterized by sleep interruptions that can be anywhere from five to fifty each night. They mostly include a blockage of the airways that can happen when the muscles of the throat and the tongue relax while a person is asleep. Overly large tonsils that press down on the airway and narrow it when you lay down at night also cause sleep apnea. It’s most commonly caused by sleeping on the back, having alcohol or certain medicines before bed, or, more often, if someone is overweight.
Sleep apnea is a sleep-related disorder that is known to affect around twenty million people in the United States alone. The cases of sleep apnea range from mild to severe in form. There are multiple causes which are known to trigger an occurrence of sleep apnea. This disorder involves interruptions in one’s sleep, which may occur at any time during the night while the individual is sleeping. It is generally known to cause a blockage of the airways, which can happen when the muscles present in the tongue and throat relax during the person’s slumber. The disorder is mostly caused due to sleeping on one’s back, drinking alcohol, smoking, or taking certain kinds of medication before bed. When the airways become blocked, the affected person can be jolted from their sleep and, in a few cases, it can lead to the complete cessation of breathing in the individual. Those who suffer from sleep apnea are mostly snorers, or they can also choke during sleep. Other health issues can also crop up due to sleep apnea, such as high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, depression, and diabetes. This disorder can turn out to be fatal for some people. If an individual suspects they are suffering from sleep apnea, there are certain steps one can take, such as limiting their intake of caffeine or any similar beverages during the day. Try to add black out drapes to the bedroom so as to block out all forms of light as well as to help quiet the brain and send out signals to prepare the body and mind for sleep. Try to keep all electronic gadgets away from the sleeping area so that they do not cause any disturbances while you sleep. Obesity can also lead to sleep apnea, so those who are struggling with their weight should look to follow a proper diet as well as make appropriate lifestyle changes in order to reduce their extra pounds.
The doctor would be the best person to accurately identify the presence of this sleep disorder by carrying out proper testing. The doctor can ask you a series of questions, based on which they can further confirm if your symptoms are actually occurring due to sleep apnea. One of the easiest methods to diagnose sleep apnea is to carry out a sleep study, which can be done at a hospital or sleep study center. The second method of testing would require two nights to be spent at the center or hospital. Doctors mostly do not prescribe any sleep aids since they can be fatal in conjunction with the condition. In the case of moderate or mild forms of sleep apnea, the individual can use a CPAP or another breathing device for help. If the disorder turns out to be too serious in form, the doctor will suggest surgery. It is important to make a note of any symptoms you may be experiencing and not brush them off as just another small issue. Try to get it diagnosed in a timely manner to receive the correct treatment.