Sleep apnea is characterized by a variety of symptoms that should not be ignored. While loud snoring is often associated with this condition, it is not always present in every case. Individuals with sleep apnea frequently experience occasional lapses in autonomous breathing during sleep, which can last from a few seconds to a minute and may be accompanied by choking or coughing.
Another commonly reported sign is daytime fatigue. Despite getting a full night's sleep, individuals who suffer from sleep apnea may often wake up feeling tired and remain drowsy throughout the day. Additional indicators of sleep apnea include waking up with a dry mouth, frequent morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, or irritability and depression.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention
If these symptoms are experienced regularly, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. If it is left untreated, sleep apnea could end up leading to serious health complications such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Moreover, it is associated with impaired performance in daily activities, which can negatively impact work or school performance and increase the risk of accidents.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
A myriad of treatment options are available for sleep apnea. The most suitable treatment could be decided thanks to a healthcare provider based on how severe the condition is.
For more mild cases of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes may be recommended. These changes may include weight loss, particularly for individuals who are overweight, as excess weight can contribute to constriction of the throat during sleep. It is also advised to avoid alcohol, sedatives, and sleeping pills, as these substances can relax the throat muscles and interfere with breathing.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Continuous positive airway pressure is a common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea. It typically involves wearing a mask over the nose during sleep, which helps deliver a constant stream of air to keep the airways open.
In some cases, oral appliances designed to keep the throat open may be recommended. These devices, fitted by a dentist, can help prevent the tongue and the soft tissues at the back of the throat from collapsing.
Surgery may be considered as a last resort if other treatments have failed or if the sleep apnea is caused by a physical abnormality, such as enlarged tonsils. The specific type of surgery will depend on the underlying cause of the sleep apnea.
Contact a professional to learn more about sleep apnea treatments.Share
19 September 2023
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