Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder characterized by pauses or interruptions in breathing. The problem occurs when the upper airway is blocked which leads to shallow, labored breathing. This is often accompanied by snoring. When sleeping the body needs to slow down in order to keep from collapsing, the brain senses this lack of oxygen and goes into survival mode.
When snoring is not so loud as to wake you up during the night, it is impossible to tell if someone is snoring in your bed. It is also hard to tell if the person is conscious or not. It is common for people to ignore sounds they cannot hear and be unaware of them until other people in the room or even yourself.
If you are the person who suffers from sleep apnea, you will often begin to feel tired or depressed at certain times. You may notice that after spending a great deal of time working late or driving yourself home, you feel sleepy and sluggish.
Sleep apnea does not cause you to fall asleep quickly but can disrupt your ability to stay asleep and can even lead to insomnia. It also causes you to not get enough rest and will change your sleep pattern every night.
Snoring has also been linked to heart problems. The high pressure in the chest muscles of a person with sleep apnea may lead to blood clots. In the event of a blood clot forming, a heart attack could occur. To avoid this, it is important to seek treatment for sleep apnea.
For a person with sleep apnea, surgery may be an option. The exact treatment will depend on several factors including the severity of the problem, the patient’s age, and other health conditions.
As mentioned, sleep appears not always a serious medical problem. A doctor should diagnose the disorder by asking several questions. It is important to keep records of the things that go on during your sleep such as body movements, noises, and breath patterns.
An inpatient program for sleep apnea can help an individual with mild to moderate sleep apnea to sleep better. Therapy can also be an option. Medical care may include medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery.
There are other types of treatment available that are not associated with medications or surgery for sleep apnea. Hypnosis, relaxation therapy, and exercise can all be effective treatment options. There are some treatments that do not require a prescription such as homeopathic remedies.
Although sleep apnea is considered to be a disorder, it is not a disease. There are many different things that cause the disorder and it is important to find the treatment that will work best for your specific situation.
Sleep apnea is not life-threatening, but it is still important to seek treatment. Once the condition is treated, the person will have a better quality of sleep, have less fatigue, have more energy, and feel refreshed throughout the day.