Sleep apnea is not a medical condition that is to be taken lightly and can be quite dangerous if not diagnosed and treated. It causes your breathing to stop while you sleep and may occur many times throughout the entire night disrupting your normal sleep. This can even cause you to wake up multiple times during the night.
The disorder which is normally checked by a sleep medicine physician can be diagnosed using an in-lab sleep study or a home sleep apnea test. Adults experience obstructive sleep apnea, which is a breathing disorder whose symptoms differ in children. Here are 4 facts to know about sleep apnea.
You can have sleep apnea and not know
Sleep apnea is quite common and many people suffer from it but many of them don’t know it, as shown from several research studies. Some of these studies show close to 9 percent of women and 24 percent of men are affected. As a result of this, it can go undiagnosed for a long time.
It has many symptoms
Sleep apnea has many symptoms and it’s not just common for people who are overweight who snore. Because of how broad the symptoms are they can easily be overlooked. Sleep apnea symptoms include depression, fatigue, trouble concentrating, sore throat, a dry mouth among other bedtime symptoms. Some patients who might be diagnosed with depression sometimes don’t respond to treatment for depression and only improve when treated for sleep apnea.
There is some truth that sleep apnea is associated with obesity and mostly affects men compared to women. But, it can affect anyone and women are also likely to be affected as men.
Sleep apnea can bring other medical issues
If not treated early, sleep apnea affects not only your good sleep, but it also disrupts your daily activities. Over time it can lead to heart attack, diabetes, stroke, and other serious medical conditions. An accurate sleep apnea diagnosis is critical since it has so many symptoms that overlap with other conditions.
This makes it paramount for you to seek medical diagnosis and treatment if you have or know any person with sleep apnea symptoms such as repeated constricted airways that cause breathing problems at night or trouble sleeping.
It can be treated
Sleep apnea is not permanent and you can do something about it. There are different ways that you can treat it which include weight loss and lifestyle changes like avoiding alcohol, sedatives and making some changes to your sleep habits. Some people even change their sleeping positions like sleeping on their back and it helps though for most you simple changes might not work.
You have to set up an appointment with a doctor to undergo the right test and get a proper diagnosis. With the right therapy such as continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP), the front-line treatment for sleep apnea or oral appliance therapy you can easily manage the disorder. But if therapy doesn’t work you can go for surgery of the upper airway and hypoglossal nerve stimulation.
Whether therapy or surgery, you will need to commit to the treatment so as to improve your quality of life. However, sleep apnea is not treated in a day and requires some lifestyle changes. Get more information on here about its symptoms, causes, and remedies.