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Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the breathing of an individual stops and restarts every time they fall asleep. The most common symptoms of this disorder are loud snoring, feeling sleepy during the day, and restlessness when one is asleep. Sleep apnea is caused by various things, some of them being blocked airways, and problems with the brain. The effects of the involuntary breathing pause are different in different people, with some people losing sleep in totality, others simply snorting, and others taking in deep breaths. Treatment for sleep apnea should be sought as fast as possible because failure to treat the condition leads to illnesses such as depression and various heart diseases. The condition causes drowsiness, which is dangerous for people who drive or operate heavy machinery.

You may be suffering from sleep apnea and not now that you do. If your reaction to the involuntary pause in breathing is snorting or taking in a deep breath as you sleep, then you may not know that you are suffering from the condition, and the symptoms can only be identified by your sleep partner. Erectile dysfunction, waking up with a dry mouth, morning headaches, heartburns, and difficulty concentrating are the common symptoms of sleep apnea. You have a higher risk of suffering from this condition if you have a large neck circumference. Your airways may be obstructed by physical obstacles, impaired brain function, and muscular changes.

Sleep apnea is a treatable condition. The causes of your sleep apnea are what determine which treatment option is right for you. Most doctors advise patients to make certain lifestyle changes before going for any other treatment option. Your doctor may ask you to avoid alcohol, smoking, try to sleep on the side, and lose some weight. If making the lifestyle changes does not work, a doctor will recommend other treatment options, some of which we will be looking at in this article.

A mandibular repositioning device may be used to try and normalize your breathing. This device is only effective in patients with mild sleep apnea. This device prevents snoring by ensuring that the upper airways are open. Doctors recommend that one gets their device custom-made to fit their needs because different people’s jaws have different measurements.

Your doctor may also recommend continuous positive airway pressure therapy, commonly known as CPAP. CPAP therapy involves the use of a gas mask that provides air pressure, thereby keeping the airway open. You can adjust your CPAP machine as you wish to make it easier to use. To relieve nasal symptoms, moisture is added to the air in the mask before it is passed to the airway. Your doctor may also recommend surgery as a treatment option for you.

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