Sleep apnea only occurs when someone is asleep, but that doesn't mean it has no consequences when they're awake. Many people may not even know they have the condition, but the symptoms are difficult to ignore. This condition goes beyond just snoring and could be more detrimental than you think.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects people while they sleep and might make it difficult for them to get enough rest. Around 1 billion individuals have obstructive sleep apnea, though many others may have rarer forms of it. It's a scary disorder that can disrupt someone’s night, including whoever else is in the room.
Sleep apnea comes in several forms. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea, which happens due to the muscles in your airway relaxing and blocking airflow. It typically includes loud snoring and lapses in breathing, which can be alarming to many people who have it or love someone who does.
Central sleep apnea is another form, though much less common than its counterpart. This kind involves the central nervous system and is caused by another health condition. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of the two, making it the rarest kind.
You may have to go through a polysomnogram, which is a sleep study that includes attached sensors overnight, to be diagnosed. You'll find this method most often in hospitals or sleep labs, but you might also be able to study your sleeping patterns from home. Sleep apnea treatment will vary from there.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Several things can cause a condition of sleep apnea, though it may vary according to the type. Anything from your age to weight to anatomical differences can spur this disorder. Still, that doesn't mean that only one kind of person is at risk.
People may have different sleep apnea symptoms. Some people snore, especially if they have obstructive sleep apnea, while others do not. Simply having this issue can increase your risk for other dangerous ailments, like high blood pressure, or even a stroke or heart attack. Luckily, you can manage your condition through a few different techniques.
5 Facts to Know About Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea treatment that works varies from person to person. You don’t have to live with the worst of this condition. Here are a few things you should know that might help you.
1. It Affects You in the Waking World
Sleep apnea affects your sleep, so it makes sense that it will affect you when you’re awake. It has several side effects that follow you throughout the day. You can see your cognitive function decline when you don't sleep well enough.
You might have trouble focusing or staying awake. You could have memory lapses or be more prone to accidents. Finding a solution for sleep apnea will improve your daily functioning.
2. CPAP Therapy Can Help You Feel Healthier
The CPAP machine is a device that people with sleep apnea can wear to greatly improve their quality of rest. It helps regulate your breathing via a tube that goes over your mouth and nose. CPAP machines are highly customizable and can be made to fit the wearer exactly, and they've been improving over time to be more comfortable for everyone who needs them.
A CPAP machine will help you be comfortable and sleep better. You should clean it out regularly and ensure you're following the latest news on the state of these machines. Some of them might even be able to send data to your doctor for their review.
3. You Can Use Dental Solutions
Obstructive sleep apnea can be a real pain when you just want to breathe well. Instead of using a CPAP machine, you may be able to rely on dental solutions to help you get better rest. Certain devices, similar to mouth guards, can help reposition the way your mouth rests, allowing your airways to function unobstructed throughout the night.
They might not be able to cure your condition, but these dental devices might prevent some of the sleep apnea symptoms you've been dealing with. Check with your doctor and dentist if anything can be done to help your situation. You may find these items more affordable than you think.
4. Surgery Is a Last Resort
Most people don't want to undergo surgery unless they have to, and patients with sleep apnea are no different. Luckily, if you want to opt for surgery to help with your sleep apnea treatment, you have many to choose from that can cure your worst symptoms. Talk to your doctor to see which one is best for your condition.
Some surgical procedures involve removing something that might be in the way, like an adenoidectomy or tonsillectomy, and can get to one of the roots of your problem quickly. Other solutions may involve electrodes and pacemakers. Your choice should reflect your particular needs and the severity of your sleep apnea symptoms.
5. There Is No Cure
Sleep apnea doesn't have a one-size-fits-all cure. You can take measures to lessen the symptoms, but there's no ultimate fix that will transform your life overnight. Unfortunately, there's no perfect cure that will help everyone who has it — and you should be skeptical of anyone who says they know of one.
You can do a few things to lessen some of your sleep apnea symptoms naturally. Losing weight, especially in tandem with CPAP therapy, can work wonders in improving things. Even if you aren't used to working out to lose weight, you can find little pockets of your day to complete dynamic workouts from home — no gym membership required. Be sure to consult all options with your doctor before attempting any exercises, especially if you haven't done them before.
The Best Sleep Apnea Treatment Is One That Works for You
Not everyone will find peace in the same sleep apnea treatment. You'll want to choose a path that supports your ultimate goals and lessens your symptoms. You may prefer one over the other, but you won't be doing yourself any favors by ignoring the methods that work best for you. An era of peaceful sleep and no disruptive snoring is upon you.