It is a sleep disorder in which your breathing hampers. You tend to snore loudly and feel lazy even after proper sleep. Sleep apnea is further categorized into three types:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea – The most common type of sleep apnea, it causes when the throat muscles relax.
Central Sleep Apnea – The second common type of sleep apnea, it occurs when the brain fails to send signals that help control our breathing.
Complex Sleep Apnea – It is a complicated type which is caused by both obstructive and central sleep apnea. It is a rare type.
Sleep apnea develops over a period of time. There are Symptoms of Sleeping Disorder that help in identifying the type of sleep apnea you are suffering from.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The signs of sleep apnea are mostly similar to other sleep disorders. It is difficult to identify the type of sleep apnea due to overlapping symptoms.
Some common symptoms are listed below:
- Incessant snoring.
- Breathlessness during sleep.
- Stop breathing in sleep.
- Experiencing dry mouth.
- Lack of focus/concentration when awake.
- If you are showing a few of the above symptoms, you should visit a doctor.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
Every type of sleep apnea is caused due to different reasons. They are both psychological and physiological in nature.
- Causes of Obstructive sleep apnea – This occurs when the muscles in the throat relax. The airway narrows and oxygen is cut-off. Because of this difficulty in sleeping, the brain wakes you up from your sleep. You wake up feeling choked and gasping. This repeats in a cycle. Excessive weight, narrow neck circumference, age, family history, genetically inherited narrow airway, and nasal congestion are some common triggers for obstructive sleep apnea.
- Causes of central sleep apnea – The main trigger for central sleep apnea is the inability of the brain to send signals to the muscles that control breathing. For a short span of time, you will lose control over your breathing and wake up feeling short of breath. Central sleep apnea is observed more in middle-aged men than women. Heart disorders and blood pressure patients also experience central sleep apnea. Even a few medicines and painkillers may cause this sleep disorder.
Based on your symptoms, the doctor can do an initial sleep apnea diagnosis. For accurate identification, a few tests need to be done at your home or a sleep clinic. These tests monitor your breathing and sleep patterns for a night or two to accurately understand your sleep disorder.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Usually, the treatment for mild cases of sleep apnea include the change in lifestyle, including Everything Health in your diet, quit alcohol and smoking, and adding exercise to your daily routine. Therapy is also a good option to get rid of sleep disorders.
If the above doesn’t help, you could try one of these treatment methods:
1. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
It is a mask that delivers air pressure through a machine. The air pressure helps in keeping the airway open and prevents sleep apnea. It is a common and reliable treatment for sleep apnea. Sometimes, it may be uncomfortable to use a mask while sleeping. But, practice makes it easy.
There are types of masks, and you should try them all to figure out which suits you the best. In case the mask remains uncomfortable, get in touch with your doctor.
It is an extreme choice of treatment for sleep apnea. The decision to do a surgery is taken only after trying other treatment options for a period of 2-3 months.
Surgery is done for people who have a problem with their jaw structure that is an obstruction to their breathing. If you opt for surgery, these are your following options:
- Tissue surgery – Removal of tissue from your mouth and top of the throat, including tonsils, are a surgical treatment to sleep apnea. It stops any tissues to obstruct the throat. It is a good treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea.
- Shrink the tissue – Using radio frequency, tissues could be shrunk. It is a small procedure which helps for mild apnea.
- Jaw repositioning – The jaw structure could lead to obstruction in breathing, especially if it has an enlarged space behind the tongue.
- Weightloss – Obesity is one of the main causes of sleep apnea. Surgery to lose weight and extra fats from the body will definitely help in treating sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which needs to be treated on time. It is a serious condition that leaves you tired during the day time. A treatment ensures you make the most of your day and have a good sleep in the night.