Think you or a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea? Find out the sleep apnea symptoms as well as the various treatments. An estimated 12 to 18 million people in the United States experience moderate to severe sleep apnea, according to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which an individual suffers from the cessation (stopping) of breathing lasting more than 10 seconds; in most cases, these episodes occur several times per night.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea you will usually begin snoring heavily shortly after falling asleep. The snoring is then interrupted by a long period of silence, during which you are not breathing. This silent period is followed by a very loud gasp or snort, and snoring resumes.
Some sufferers don’t remember this happening, whilst others wake up gasping for breath.
In addition to nighttime symptoms, other sleep apnea symptoms include abnormal daytime sleepiness, falling asleep suddenly, and feeling unrefreshed upon awakening. Other symptoms include insomnia, depression, poor concentration, headaches, and memory problems.
Sleep apnea isn’t only an inconvenient problem, it’s a dangerous one. The lack of oxygen caused by the cessation of breathing can have lasting negative health effects. The lack of sleep, as well as the oxygen deprivation, can cause a myriad of health problems, including raising the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Another problem with sleep apnea is the effect it can have on your relationships, particularly if your partner suffers from insomnia, or is a poor sleeper. I’ve personally experienced this and was unable to spend the night with my boyfriend who would snore very loudly.
For this reason, it’s important to seek treatment for sleep apnea. In mild cases, a conservative approach may be all that’s needed–for example, losing weight and quitting smo
king and/or drinking may improve the problem. Changing sleep positions can help, too; some sleep apnea sufferers breathe better when not on their back.
Continuous positive airway pressure–known as CPAP–is a treatment in which the sleep apnea sufferer wears a mask over their nose and/or mouth while sleeping. Although considered by many experts to be a highly effective treatment, a significant number of CPAP users give up on the machines because of unpleasant side effects, which include dry or stuffy nose, irritated skin, trouble exhaling, and general discomfort.
In some cases, surgery may help improve the condition, especially in the case of someone with severely enlarged tonsils or a deviated septum. However, surgery is very painful and can have serious side effects, also certain people may not be able to have the surgery so this option isn’t right for everyone.
Another treatment alternative to CPAP is the use of a dental device. Some sufferers may benefit from a specially designed oral appliance which helps keep the airway open during sleep; these can be specifically designed by a dentist who has expertise in treating sleep apnea. A sleep apnea dentist can also help you determine if a dental sleep medicine or combination of treatments might work for you. If you are experiencing sleep apnea symptoms don’t wait for something to happen, choose a treatment and improve your life.
If you’ve can’t get on with CPAP or don’t like the idea, and don’t want surgery, you’re not alone! Take a look at this excellent sleep apnea ebook. It’s got some little known methods of curing and lessening the sleep apnea symptoms and effects, with loads of accounts from ex-sleep apnea sufferers who threw away their CPAP device, or find out more information about the various sleep apnea treatments.
Read More about Natural Treatments for Sleep Apnea
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