Category: Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Answers to questions on sleep apnea

Have you heard about sleep apnea? What exactly can you say about sleep apnea (SA)? We know it’s normal for several questions about SA to cross your mind. We are here to provide adequate answers to some questions about SA. Therefore, you need to stay focused and shun all distractions right now. For clarity, we would start by giving a brief explanation about SA. 

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a life-threatening sleep disorder that can affect one’s breathing. SA happens when breathing stops and starts repeatedly. Have you ever experienced that? Of course, you might not know. One of the common symptoms of SA is loud snoring during sleep. However, some schools of thought came out to defend the assertion that people who snore loudly are battling sleep apnea. They said other things might cause one to snore loudly while sleeping. It could be a wrong sleeping position.   

What are the types of SA?

There are two major types of SA which are; OSA and CSA. The OSA means obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the throat muscles relax. It occurs when the muscles in the back of one’s throat relax disproportionately to allow normal breathing. Also, central sleep apnea occurs when one’s brain doesn’t send the appropriate signal to the muscles that control breathing. And once the powers holding breathing fail to receive the proper signal from the brain, central sleep apnea will occur.

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What are the symptoms of SA? 

One of the most common symptoms of SA is snoring loudly at night. However, there are other symptoms of this sleep disorder. It could be morning headache, irritability, insomnia, hypersomnia, and difficulty staying asleep. You might be wondering if loud snoring is among the symptoms of sleep apnea. Some people assume that snoring is a natural case that cannot be controlled. That’s not true. When one snores loudly, something is wrong. Of course, such a person might be suffering or battling sleep apnea. Other symptoms are; awakening with a dry mouth, difficulty paying attention while awake, and occurrences in which one stops breathing during sleep.

How do I know if I’m battling with SA?

The best way to know if one is battling with SA is by doing a polysomnogram. Polysomnogram is a sleep study that can be used to detect sleep apnea. During the study, a sleep specialist will monitor you while you’re asleep. The sleep specialist will hook you up with some equipment. The equipment will monitor your brain activity and blood oxygen. Also, your heart rate and breathing pattern will be observed while sleeping. Of course, the study’s outcome will help your doctor make a perfect diagnosis.

Answers to questions on sleep apnea

What do I do after it is crystal clear that I have SA?

The first and the best thing to do is to consult your doctor. You need to explain how you’re feeling to your doctor. Please don’t engage in self-medication. Let every step you take to control your sleep come from your doctor. There’s nothing much to say here. It is the duty of your doctor or your sleep specialist to tell you what to do. 

How long does a study take?

Although no one can be precise about this question because it varies, the sleep study typically takes nine to ten hours. It depends on how the sleep specialists handle it. Once you enter the sleep center, you’ll need to spend some time talking to the sleep specialist, and he’ll explain the process to you. Attaching monitors and other study equipment for the study should take less than forty-five minutes. After the equipment has been fixed on you, the actual sleeping study will require six hours to take proper records. 

Does SA have any adverse effects? 

SA reduces one’s quality of sleep. And this can have a cumulative effect. So, several consequences might occur if one is deprived of sleep. Do you know that if SA is left untreated, one can lose memory? Of course, it’s possible. Irritability can also set in. One can have an accident while driving. 

Are there complications? 

Of course, SA can cause many health complications. When one breathing stops, the oxygen level in one’s blood can drop. This drop can strain one’s cardiovascular system. And this can make one’s heart works harder. People with sleep apnea are prone to have high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeats, and diabetes. If sleep apnea is left untreated, one can have a heart attack and stroke. There are countless people with heart disease resulting from untreated sleep apnea. 

Answers to questions on sleep apnea

How can SA be treated?

The perfect treatment for SA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). CPAP is a machine commonly prescribed for treating SA. This device is specifically designed to treat and regulate airflow in the airways. Remember, we mentioned obstructive sleep apnea as the most common type/cause of sleep apnea. So, OSA causes interruptions in one’s breathing because one’s throat is temporarily blocked. Hence, a CPAP machine helps to send a steady flow of air into one’s nose and mouth while asleep. This incredible machine is a medical tool that normalizes the flow of pressurized air into one’s nose and mouth. It helps to keep one’s airways open; then, one can breathe normally. 

Is CPAP hard to sleep with? 

Continuous positive airway pressure machines for home use are usually small. These machines are small. One needs to put on a mask over one’s nose. The mask is connected to the tubing and the CPAP machine itself. People are already used to CPAP machines, so they don’t see it as something they can’t sleep with. However, those that are just using a continuous positive airway pressure machine should keep the benefit of this machine in mind. So, after using this machine for weeks and you’re not comfortable sleeping with it, you can consult your sleep specialist to help you out. Perhaps your sleep doctor only needs to adjust the pressure on the machine or suggest another continuous positive airway pressure mask that’ll make you look more comfortable. There’s always a way out if you have an uncomfortable mask.  

On a final note

Dear reader, we hope some crucial questions about SA have been answered. Finally, if you have any questions regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comment box.    

Tips on how to Deal with Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is when a person’s breathing continuously stops and resumes while sleeping. Daytime tiredness, loud snoring, and restless sleep are all symptoms.

Usually, people with sleep apnea also have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep Apnea(SA) occurs due to a physical blockage in the upper airway. Another kind, central sleep apnea (CSA), is caused by a neural system signaling issue.

One will stop breathing if the airway closes and the signal is not received. This will occasionally happen during sleep, but it will recur repeatedly if not use sleep apnea pillow. They may snore, take a big breath, or awaken with a sense of gasping, smothering, or choking when they breathe again.

Sleep apnea, if left uncared for, can lead to depression and heart disease. It can also cause drowsiness, increasing the risk of driving or working accidents.

This article will learn more about the symptoms, treatment, and other factors when dealing with sleep apnea.

Tips on how to Deal with Sleep apnea

Symptoms of sleep apnea

Someone with sleep apnea is not usually aware of this condition until another person observes while they are asleep.

The General symptom includes:

The significantly visible symptoms of the individual include:

  • decreased libido and erectile dysfunction
  • difficulty concentrating
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • heartburn
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • sore throat

Causes of sleep apnea

Various factors can contribute to the blocking or collapse of the airway. They include the following:

  • thickened tissues and additional fat stores around the airway
  • nasal congestion
  • lax muscles and other tissues in the mouth and throat
  • an underlying neurological problem

These can result from:

  • thyroid problems
  • obesity
  • swollen tonsils
  • kidney or heart failure
  • genetic factors
  • colds and allergies
Tips on how to Deal with Sleep apnea

Treatment of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea treatment aims to normalize breathing during sleep and address any underlying health problems. The options will depend on the cause and severity of the symptoms.

  1. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy

Surgery is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. It keeps the airway open by gently delivering a constant stream of positive pressure air through a mask.

Some patients find CPAP challenging to tolerate and stop using it before noticing any long-term benefits. However, several things can be done to make the equipment more comfortable, and the adjusting process goes more smoothly.

The mask’s settings and appearance can be altered. Nasal issues can be alleviated by moistening the air passing through the mask.

  1. Lifestyle therapy

Normalizing breathing requires lifestyle changes, which are critical first stages in treating sleep apnea. Self-care may be the best method for you to deal with obstructive sleep apnea in many circumstances. 

They include:

  • developing healthy sleeping habits
  • following a heart-healthy diet
  • quitting smoking
  • managing weight
  • limiting alcohol consumption
  • Lose weight if you’re overweight: If you’re overweight or obese, even a tiny amount of weight loss can assist reduce airway tightness. Losing weight can enhance your health and quality of life and help you sleep better throughout the day.
  • Exercise regularly: Exercising, such as aerobic and weight training, can help you get in better shape. Aim for 200 minutes of activity every week, and aim to exercise on most days of the week.
  • Use an allergy medication or nasal decongestant.
  • Don’t sleep on your back: Instead of sleeping on your back, try sleeping on your side or stomach. When you sleep on your back, your tongue and soft palate might lay against the back of your throat, obstructing your airway.
  • Avoid taking sedative medications such as sleeping pills and anti-anxiety drugs.
  • Avoid alcohol and medications such as anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills. Alcohol, anti-anxiety medications, and some sleeping pills can worsen obstructive sleep apnea and sleepiness.
  • To prevent sleeping on your back, try sewing a tennis ball in the back of your pajama top or place pillows behind you while you sleep on your side.
Tips on how to Deal with Sleep apnea

While sleeping, keep your nasal passages open. Use a saline nasal spray to keep your nasal passages open if you have congestion. Consult your doctor before using nasal decongestants or antihistamines, as some treatments may only be prescribed for a short period.

  1. Surgery

People with OSA might have their airways widened through various surgical treatments. Excess or larger tonsils can be removed, or obstructive tissue can be stiffened or shrunk.

MRD (mandibular repositioning device) is a custom-made oral appliance for those who have mild to moderate OSA.

During sleep, the mouthpiece holds the jaw forward to widen the space below the tongue. This keeps the upper airway open and prevents snoring and apnea.

An MRD’s side effects could include worsening temporomandibular joint dysfunction and jaw pain.

  1. Medication

Some medications may be helpful, but only after consulting a sleep specialist. Here are some examples:

  • zolpidem
  • triazolam
  • acetazolamide

These, however, may have serious side effects and are not fit for everyone.

When to see a doctor

Sleep apnea has been linked to various health problems, including the inability to concentrate, depression, heart attack, and stroke. It may also increase the risk of hypertension.

Although the link between the two disorders isn’t always evident, anyone with sleep apnea should get medical help because it could suggest an underlying issue.

Although the person may be unaware of their sleep apnea, a sleeping partner or another household member may notice it and alert them.

If these steps don’t help you sleep better or your apnea is moderate to severe, your doctor may suggest alternative therapies. A clogged airway can be supported with the use of specific devices. In some circumstances, surgery is required.

Caution

Because of the high occurrence of sleep apnea in heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias, doctors advise that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

If you think you could have obstructive sleep apnea, you’ll probably start by seeing your primary care physician. Your doctor may recommend a sleep specialist.

Avoid driving if you’re drowsy. Daytime tiredness might increase your risk of a car accident if you have obstructive sleep apnea. Schedule rest breaks to stay safe. Avoid driving if a close friend or family member tells you you appear sleepier than you feel.