Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that involves a person’s exhibition of more than one pause when breathing, and then exhibiting shallow breaths while sleeping. The lapse of breathing is called apnea, and this usually lasts for just a few seconds up to several minutes. The time duration usually falls somewhere between five to thirty times, and may even last up to an hour. After the disorder, the normal breathing falls back but is usually accompanied by a loud snort or a choking sound.
Like insomnia, sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that disrupts one’s sleeping pattern. But sleep apnea is milder than insomnia because the sleep is only distracted for at least three times a week. In severe cases, however, the sleep is distracted by more than three times per week. This particular disorder allows an individual to suffer from a restless sleeping pattern – falling into a deep sleep, then into a light sleep when the breathing pauses or the breathing becomes shallow. As a result, the person suffers from poor sleep quality, leading to a tired feeling during the daytime.
However, sufferers of this condition will be glad to know that there are apnea remedies that they can try to stabilize their conditions, and consequently, gain back that control over their lives.
Perhaps one of the most effective sleep apnea remedies is by treating the condition based on your sleeping positions. Usually, sleep apnea is brought about by uncomfortable sleep. So if you are sleeping on your back frequently, maybe you should try to change your position and lie on either side. This will probably prevent the obstruction of respiratory airways. But if you think you are suffering from this condition because of allergies, eliminate all the allergens at home such as dust, pet hair, and cigarette smoke. Cleaning the air with air purifiers and air filtration will be excellent in helping you breathe cleaner and fresher air.
People who are suffering from obesity are also the ones most likely to suffer from apnea. Instead of this, it is recommended to follow a healthy, well-balanced diet and do exercise to lose weight and consequently treat sleep apnea. And while you are into changing your lifestyle, it is also recommended that you refrain from smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, as these vices are crucial in triggering sleep apnea among different individuals.
The Symptoms and Treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is when breathing stops for a short time while sleeping. This is usually due to the airway becoming blocked or narrowed while asleep. Almost everyone suffers from this while they are asleep but it does not always cause a significant problem and does not always have an effect on the sleeping pattern.
As all the muscles in the body can relax overnight, the muscle that keeps the airway open can also relax. This can cause a problem for those with smaller and narrower throat area than others. This can often lead to snoring as the body tries to force air through the blocked airway.
Due to the inability to sleep, it can often lead to some common symptoms. More often than not, symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are noticed during the waking hours as well as the sleeping ones. The symptoms will grow as the condition is left to get worse and it is usual that the sufferer will not notice anything; it will be for friends and family members to point out.
During sleep, it is common that people snore loudly, but it will be interrupted by an extended period of silence when there is no breathing at all. The pause in breath will only last for around ten seconds, and then there will be a gasp or snort as the person starts to breathe again.
This can often lead to an interrupted sleep pattern, which leaves patients suffering from feeling unrefreshed or drowsy the next morning. This often leads to irritable and impatient behavior and the sufferer being forgetful and struggling with headaches or falling asleep at other times during the day. As the condition is left untreated, it can lead to depression or hyperactivity; this is mainly seen in children.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be treated by following a few simple lifestyle changes. To avoid the airway from becoming blocked, it is important to not sleep on the back; this is a position where the airway is more likely to narrow. Losing weight and avoiding alcohol or sedatives before bed will also help to treat the condition.
There is now a medical technique that has been regarded to e the first-line treatment for the condition; Continuous positive airway pressure, CPAP for short. It is delivered to the patient from a machine through the use of a face mask which fits tightly. However, this is not for everybody as it can be uncomfortable but it can help to overcome all problems of the condition.
Another form of treatment is through dental services. There have been a number of devices developed that can be used at night in the mouth to be able to keep the jaw sitting forward, which prevents the airway from being narrowed or blocked.
However, in the odd case, surgery may be the only option. There are a few different surgeries that patients have undergone to overcome their sleeping condition. Some are less invasive, where any excess tissue is removed from the back of the throat to more invasive, where the trachea has been made wider to help with the airflow. The most invasive has been proven to have a better affect than removing tissue, since more often than not it is the muscle that is causing the narrowing and not excess tissue.
Obstructive sleep apnea is not life threatening, since the body will make yourself breathe, however it can be irritating for yourself and your family; If you believe that you are suffering from the condition, it is often best to speak to a doctor who can then refer you to a sleeping clinic to help diagnose the problem correctly.