Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and more

Do you snore at night to cause trouble for your family? Are you feeling sleepy during daytime most of the time despite taking tea or coffee? If yes, then you are losing on your quality of life and hurting relationships with family members. However, there is no need to worry as you are probably a victim of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that doesn’t allow you to get proper rest and sound sleep. Read on to learn everything about sleep apnea from causes, symptoms, treatment and its prevention.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder of sleep that is characterized by loud snoring. In this disorder, patient stops breathing intermittently while he is asleep. Apnea is a Greek word that means without breath hence the name. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of this disorder where airways become closed and the patient cannot breathe normally. There is also central sleep apnea where brain forgets to signal the muscles to continue breathing. Interruption in breathing can take place hundreds of time at night, causing great inconvenience to the victim.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

There are many symptoms of sleep apnea out of which loud snoring is the most common one. Other symptoms shown by victims of sleep apnea are waking up with a dry throat, a restless sleep, waking up with morning headaches, insomnia, mood changes, forgetfulness, and reduced appetite for sex.

What are the causes for sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea afflicts men more than women and it usually occurs during middle age. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by blockage of airways because closure of soft tissue located in the rear of the throat. Central sleep apnea is caused by failure of the brain to signal muscles to continue breathing. Mixed sleep apnea takes place with a combination of the causes of first two types of sleep apnea.

What are the treatments for sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is usually treated by doctors with a device called CPAP. It is a continuous positive airway pressure device that keeps on blowing air into airways so that it remains open during sleep in case of a victim of sleep apnea. Reducing weight, giving up on alcohol and smoking, breathing exercises in Yoga, and mediation have also helped in curing patients of sleep apnea.

How to manage sleep apnea

Managing sleep apnea can be difficult, especially when the patent snores loudly during his sleep. If you cannot tolerate a CPAP for curing your sleep apnea, you should make changes in your lifestyle such as reducing weight, giving alcohol and smoking, avoiding sleeping on your back, exercising, and Yoga. You should also use a nasal decongestant regularly to keep your nose clean. Deep breathing is a technique that can help in curing sleep apnea over a period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

CPAP is the best treatment of obstructive sleep apnea where this device keeps on blowing air gently into the nasal airways of the patient to allow him to breathe during his sleep. Doctors also recommend losing weight, avoiding smoking and drinking, doing exercises especially breathing exercises and Yoga to get rid of this sleep disorder.

Sleep apnea usually afflicts men more than women. Breathing stops frequently during sleep, either because of closure of airways or because of brain forgetting to signal muscles to continue breathing. Smoking and drinking are risk factors associated with sleep apnea. Overweight men are more likely to develop this sleeping disorder than those who keep their weight under control.

Being male, overweight, and over the age of 40 are some of the important risk factors associated with sleep apnea. Men who smoke or drink alcohol have higher chances of developing this sleep disorder.

Doctors have found that there are some factors that increase chances of sleep apnea in men. In obese men, fat gets deposited in the upper airway to cause obstruction in breathing. Men having thicker necks than normal are at a higher risk of developing this disorder as they have narrow airways. Use of alcohol, tobacco, and tranquilizers also increases chances of sleep apnea. People who experience nasal congestion also become victims of this sleep disorder.

Diagnosis of sleep apnea is done by doctors using specialized equipment that monitors the activities of heart, brain, and breathing pattern during sleep. The patient is hooked up to the equipment that also monitors the blood and oxygen levels inside the brain during sleep.

Where to find a sleep doctor?

Finding a sleep doctor is easy if you look up for these specialists in yellow pages or Google.

When to see a doctor to treat your sleep apnea?

It is necessary to consult a sleep doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea. Snoring is not always present in patients of sleep apnea. This is why many people remain undiagnosed and suffer from severe health problems later on in their lives.

What are the best medications for sleep?

There are available many kinds of sedatives that help people in inducing sleep. However, you should never start on a sedative if you are not able to sleep normally without consulting a doctor.

Need a sleep apnea doctor?

Sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder afflicting millions of men around the country. If you snore loudly at night or wake up several times because of blockage of nasal airways, it is very important for you to visit a sleep doctor. Hunterdon Pulmonary & Sleep clinic is a leading sleep clinic in Flemington, New Jersey. Call at 908-237-1560 to book an appointment with a qualified and experienced sleep doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment for your disorder. You can also email us at info@hunterdonpulmonaryandsleep.com to get in touch with us.