Wind back the clock a few years and sleep apnea wasn’t really a thing. Or, it was in health circles, but most of the general public had absolutely no idea of what it actually was.
Suffice to say, times have changed, and this is almost a buzzword amongst those individuals who are struggling to get an adequate amount of sleep.
However, sleep apnea isn’t merely a problem of struggling to sleep. It’s a condition which is lifelong, and can sometimes be dangerous. Bearing this in mind, we have compiled the following post which will highlight the finer details of the condition.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition which results in the walls of your throat narrowing as you sleep. The upshot of this is that it becomes more difficult, and sometimes impossible to breathe, with your sleep ultimately being affected.
In the most severe cases, sleep apnea can impact an individual every couple of minutes.
When an individual does suffer one of these episodes, they will be “retrieved” from their deep sleep midway through. This is because their brain is notified that there is a lack of oxygen, meaning that they are woken up. This is also the reason why sleep apnea can be so damaging; it can result in individuals waking up all-too frequently.
What are the symptoms?
Following on from the above, what are the obvious symptoms associated with sleep apnea?
While the definition might suggest that the condition is very obvious from the outset, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, a lot of sufferers find that it’s their partner who discovers the issue first. They will quite often notice unusual behavior whilst you sleep. When we define this “unusual behavior”, it usually comes in the form of snoring that is excessively loud, noisy breathing or even loud gasps during your sleep. It’s also not uncommon for people to sweat more through this condition, or wake up more frequently to go to the toilet.
What treatment options are available?
It would be fair to say that sleep apnoea treatment options have widened significantly over the last few years, as the condition becomes more understood.
There are of course some lifestyle issues that can cause it. It’s understood that overweight people are more at risk, as are those that drink alcohol or smoke. As such, these should be the first avenues that you visit if you are looking to treat the condition.
In terms of more specific treatment methods, other options include a continuous positive airway pressure device, which will effectively stop your airway closing. Another solution is a mandibular advancement device, which fits around your jaw and increases the space at the back of your throat. Both of these are designed at allowing air to constantly pass through your airways through the course of the night.
While some people will consider surgery, this is only usually in the cases where the sleep apnea is caused by an unorthodox neck structure which is limiting the airflow.