What Is Sleep Apnea and Why Is It a Problem?

When it comes to understanding sleep disorders, it’s important to take a step by step approach. With a disorder like sleep apnea, it can be very essential to first learn what it is and how it manifests, before taking any steps towards trying to treat it – especially when you’d rather target alternative treatment methods.

Simply put, sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder involving a sudden obstruction of airflow that causes the patient to be out of breath while they are asleep. While sometimes the shock can be strong enough to jolt the person awake, at other times, mild forms of sleep apnea can simply cause a brief episode of choking or snorting, after which the breathing resumes and sleep continues without further obstructions.

To diagnose sleep apnea, an overnight sleep study will often be required. The disorder is typically treated with lifestyle changes and various mouthpieces and breathing devices, depending on the severity of the case and the type of sleep apnea involved. The use of various machines like a CPAP machine, or even surgery, can also be required in some cases. Schedule an appointment with a sleep doctor near me for a knowledgeable diagnosis and recommended treatment.

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Two Types of Sleep Apnea to Consider

Not all sleep apnea patients suffer from the same exact problems. While some might experience sleep apnea as a result of some sort of an obstruction of the airways, others could simply experience brief impairments in the breathing process itself. These two types of sleep apnea are known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA), respectively.

OSA is common in people growing up in families with a history of sleep disorder, as well as those with enlarged tonsils or those suffering from obesity. In turn, CSA usually involves the stopping of regular unconscious breathing, and sometimes can also be combined with OSA symptoms as well.

Signs, Symptoms and Risks

Due to the fact that their sleeping patterns are severely impaired, people suffering from sleep apnea will often experience decreased alertness and increased sleepiness during the day. There is also a greater chance that they could get into a car accident or a work related accident, and they’re also at a higher risk to contract various diseases such as diabetes.

The main symptoms you might expect in a person suffering from sleep apnea can include moodiness, increased sleepiness during the daytime, as well as belligerence and a decrease in overall energy. Combined with constant fatigue, many of these symptoms could also contribute to the development of depression later on.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea is extremely important, and sometimes getting an early diagnosis can even be crucial to the person’s health. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to an increase in risk to develop conditions such as heart failure and irregular heartbeat, and can also lead to a possible stroke or heart attack.

For an accurate diagnosis, and to make sure you get the proper treatment for your case of sleep apnea, make sure you get a check up and a recommendation from your doctor, to see a dependable and skilled sleep doctor.