Signs and Treatments for Sleep Apnea


Has anyone ever told you that you snore really loud and gasp for breath while sleeping?  We all get defensive when we get accused of snoring – who, me?  No way, never.  One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring and it is a serious condition that shouldn’t be ignored.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a person to stop and start breathing repeatedly, caused by an obstruction in airflow in the back of the throat which blocks air from getting into the lungs.  If left untreated over years, sleep apnea can contribute to chronic diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease which is why getting diagnosed and treated is imperative.

What should you look for?

  1. Being tired and sleepy all day although you may have slept enough hours
  2. Told that you gasp or choke during sleep
  3. Told that you have pauses in breath during sleep
  4. Waking up with a headache
  5. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure
  6. You experience heart palpitations or fluttering in your chest
  7. Throughout the day you feel moody, quick tempered, irritable or even feel depressed.
  8. You have insomnia

What are the treatments for Sleep Apnea?

Your plan to treat Sleep Apnea may include any combination of treatments depending on the severity of the condition.  Lifestyle changes like managing weight, quit smoking, exercising regularly and sticking to a steady diet and sleep pattern. Positional changes like avoiding sleeping on your back and keeping your upper body elevated using special pillows.  Throat and tongue exercises can be helpful as they strengthen the muscles in the airway, making them less likely to collapse.  CPAP device is the most common treatment where a person with sleep apnea can experience immediate relief and a boost in mental and physical energy.  Other breathing devices like Bipap, Epap, or dental devices and implants may be recommended by a sleep specialist to provide relief.  In severe cases, surgery is recommended as well.

Take a step today and speak with your doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of Sleep Apnea.

Resources:

Self – Sleep Apnea

Help Guide – Sleep Apnea

Sleep Education – Sleep Apnea Treatment