Sleep Apnea is a pretty common sleeping disorder. But despite this fact, a lot of people don’t realize exactly what it is, what causes it, what the symptoms are, or how to treat it.
So in this post, that’s what we’re going to talk about. But first, let’s quickly talk about exactly what sleep apnea is.
According to WebMD.com, Sleep Apnea is “a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep.”
They also go on to describe the disorder like this…
“People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain — and the rest of the body — may not get enough oxygen.”
But what are the symptoms? Well, WebMD.com also does a good job of giving us a good list of symptoms that are commonly associated with sleep apnea. These include…
While a person suffering from sleep apnea may not have every single one of these, they are all symptoms that could point toward the fact that you are, indeed, suffering from the disorder.
The Dangers Of Sleep Apnea
A lot of people think that Sleep Apnea, like snoring, is little more than a nuisance. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, Sleep Apnea puts the sufferer at an increased risk for a wide range of different diseases and conditions. These include depression, headaches, high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, and even worsening of ADHD symptoms. It can even make you more prone to mood swings, bipolar disorder, and other similar types of personality disorders.
And of course, let’s not forget that it can also cause excessive daytime fatigue – to the point where you may even fall asleep at the wheel or at work, which in itself can be very dangerous.
So… What Should You Do?
Well, as it turns out, there are several treatments for Sleep Apnea… so if you are currently suffering from it, don’t be discouraged. Here is some information that might help to point you in the right direction.
Treatments For Sleep Apnea
First of all, it is imperative that you speak to your doctor about your sleep apnea if you are afraid that you may be suffering from it. As a legitimate and dangerous sleeping disorder, it isn’t something that you should attempt to fix all by yourself.
For a legitimate diagnosis, your doctor may or may not order a sleep study – and in any case, it is important that you take his/her advice on this and get it done.
But after that, if you do end up being diagnosed with OSA, there are a few different treatment options that you will likely be presented with.
If your case of sleep apnea is rather mild, then your doctor may prescribe some simple lifestyle changes. Losing weight, getting more exercise, and eating a healthier diet can all really make a difference. A lot of specialists say that losing just 10% of your body weight (if you are obese or overweight) can make a big difference where sleep apnea is concerned.
Quitting smoking and alcohol consumption can also do you a lot of good. Even sleeping on your stomach or your side, rather than your back, can contribute in a positive way.
For more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe CPAP therapy. Surgery can also be an option in some cases, depending on the factors in your specific case. In some cases, stop snoring devices can do the trick, especially when paired with positive lifestyle changes.
Some of these, such as some different types of mandibular advancement devices, can even be prescribed to treat OSA in some countries. So asking your doctor about that option could also yield positive results.
The key, of course, is to be proactive, and to take your health and wellness seriously enough to actually get the help you need to overcome the problem.
Sleep apnea is serious… but it is very reversible and can be overcome with the right measures.