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What is Sleep Apnea?

February 7, 2022
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What exactly is sleep apnea? You’ve undoubtedly heard the word, and you might suspect that you, a sleeping partner, or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea. In this complete guide, we’ll look at what sleep apnea is, its symptoms and causes, and what you can do about it.

Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about sleep apnea and how it impacts you.

Sleep Apnea Definition

Sleep apnea is a potentially fatal medical disorder in which you repeatedly cease breathing (apnea) or have reduced breathing (hypopnea) while sleeping. A person with sleep apnea may have trouble breathing hundreds of times every night. Breathing pauses are typically 10 to 30 seconds long, although some can extend up to a minute or more.

Sleep apnea, if left untreated, can deplete your brain and body of oxygen, resulting in health concerns. The implications of not obtaining enough restorative sleep can also have an impact on your overall quality of life.

According to the University of Utah, over 80% of moderate to severe sleep apnea patients go undetected.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

You’ve probably heard that people with sleep apnea snore a lot. While this is true, it is also true that not everyone with sleep apnea snores and not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. So don’t depend just on snoring as a clue.

Here are some sleep apnea symptoms to be aware of:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up gasping for oxygen.
  • Insomnia and frequent waking
  • waking up frequently to urinate (nocturia)
  • Headache in the morning
  • Mouth dryness
  • Excessive and unexplained daytime drowsiness
  • Mental fog, as well as other mood problems such as irritation or despair
  • Difficulty concentrating when awake

People who suffer from sleep apnea may not identify the symptoms. Instead, your partner will frequently raise the alarm due to their spouse’s noisy snoring. They could also discover their companion isn’t breathing or is gasping for air. Encourage your companion to get medical assistance if you feel he or she has sleep apnea.

How to treat Sleep Apnea?

Consult your doctor if you feel you have sleep apnea. As we’ve already established, sleep apnea is a potentially fatal sleep disease, both OSA and CSA should be evaluated and treated by a medical practitioner.

CPAP Machine

One of the first-line therapy for OSA is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. You wear a mask while sleeping, and the machine offers a continuous stream of pressurized air to keep your airway open. As a result, breathing becomes easier, snoring is minimized (or eliminated), and overall sleep quality improves.

Although CPAP therapy is the most often used, other PAP devices, such as the automated positive airway pressure (APAP) machine and the bilevel or variable positive airway pressure (VPAP) machine, are also available. Your doctor will choose which device is best for you.

Lifestyle Changes

Weight control, refraining from alcohol and other sedatives, stopping smoking, and even learning to sleep on your side rather than your back all play important roles in treating sleep apnea. Your doctor will go through any healthy lifestyle changes you may make to help relieve OSA symptoms.

Elevating the Head of the Bed

Weight control, refraining from alcohol and other sedatives, stopping smoking, and even learning to sleep on your side rather than your back all play important roles in treating sleep apnea. Your doctor will go through any healthy lifestyle changes you may make to help relieve OSA symptoms.

If you experience sleep apnea, visit Dr. Sam Harouni to get immediate treatment, in Beverly Hills, CA

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