Sleep apnea is the name given to a medically recognized condition in which an individual sleeps for short periods of time, pausing between breaths. Breathing is interrupted and the individual wakes up. The pauses may be short or long, but they do not last for a couple of minutes and do not involve sleep.
When the person awakes, their sleep can be disrupted by the gaps in their sleep. It can take a few days to realize that the person has sleep apnea. In addition, many of the symptoms are also related to a feeling of fatigue and lack of energy during the day. This may lead to a feeling of being “sluggish” and falling asleep more often.
An individual may have apnea due to a number of factors, including smoking, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), aging, and other medical conditions. Some medications may also increase the chances of developing apnea. If you think you are suffering from this disorder, make sure to visit your doctor to determine the cause.
There are a number of different treatments available. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a computerized sleep study, also known as polysomnography, to rule out the possibility of an obstruction within the throat or airway. However, in other cases, sleep studies are not successful.
There are also a number of home treatments for sleep apnea. These include things like: nasal sprays, nasal strips, dental appliances, and throat sprays. Keep in mind that you should always use these treatments only under the direction of a physician. These home treatments should not be used for more than six months because of the risk of serious side effects.
Patients may also try non-medical methods such as sound therapy, self-hypnosis, and specific relaxation techniques. Even though there are no conclusive studies that support these methods, patients have been able to see positive results from them. They can also help people get comfortable with their new sleeping habits.
Recent developments in the field of medicine have provided additional aids in combating sleep apnea. These include pacemakers, which corrects the body’s normal rhythm. Doctors are increasingly using non-invasive devices, such as nasal strips and nasal sprays, to adjust the body’s natural sleep cycle.
Drugs, such as anesthetics, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants, are used to control the symptoms of the disorder. Some may also use surgical procedures to remove portions of the tongue or tonsils. While these treatments are highly effective, it is important to remember that prevention is still the best form of treatment.
Most people will not have to deal with sleep apnea until they reach middle age. Unfortunately, some symptoms may become severe enough to impair a person’s ability to function properly in the workplace or at home. Therefore, making sure to get enough rest is very important.
Keeping the throat clear will help prevent the occurrence of sleep apnea. Use the same technique when snoring as you would when you are asleep when sleeping on your back. The stomach muscles should be relaxed so that the airway is not obstructed.
It is important to remember that sleep apnea is treatable. Proper diagnosis and treatment will eliminate the problem. Remember, sleeping problems may require a visit to the doctor.