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Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. This is a condition whereby one’s breathing stops and restarts continually as they sleep. Some common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, daytime sleeping, and restlessness when 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. Sleep apnea is a condition that needs medical attention fast because it can lead to other serious illnesses such as depression and heart disease. If you drive or operate heavy machinery in your job, you need to seek treatment fast because the drowsiness brought about the condition can cause accidents.

A lot of people do not know that they suffer from sleep apnea. All individuals do not feel 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. People with large neck circumference are more susceptible to this condition. Sleep apnea is caused by various factors such as physical obstructions to the airways, muscular changes, and impaired brain function.

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. Some of these changes include losing weight, trying sleeping on the side rather than on the back, and avoiding alcohol and smoking. If these lifestyle changes do nothing for your sleep apnea, other treatment options will be recommended.

Your doctor may recommend the use of a mandibular repositioning device. This device is only effective in patients with mild sleep apnea. A mandibular repositioning device prevents snoring by repositioning the jaw, so the upper airways remain open eve as one sleeps. Most mandibular repositioning devices are custom made because different people have different jaw measurements.

CPAP, also known as continuous positive airway pressure therapy, is another treatment option that may be made available for you. CPAP therapy involves the use of a gas mask that provides air pressure, thereby keeping the airway open. For easier use, one is advised to adjust the settings of their CPAP machine until they find those they are comfortable with. To relieve nasal symptoms, moisture is added to the air in the mask before it is passed to the airway. You can also seek surgery to treat your sleep apnea.

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