If you’ve ever had a sleepover, you probably have heard someone snore before. If this is true, there is a distinct possibility that this person could be showing signs of Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder that happens when breathing is interrupted with one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep, often followed by a loud snort or choking sound signifying the restart of normal breathing.
There are two types of Sleep Apnea:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
This more common form of apnea is caused when there is a blockage in the airway, usually triggered when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
Rather than an airway blockage, the brain stops signaling your body to breathe because of instability in the respiratory system
Although not all snoring signifies Sleep Apnea, it is one of the prime indicators that should be checked out if it is a chronic issue. The following is a list of some common symptoms for Sleep Apnea:
While awake, your throat’s muscles help keep your airway open so that air can flow into your lungs. When you sleep, these muscles relax and your throat narrows accordingly. As this happens, Sleep Apnea can cause blockages for the following reasons:
If you think you have a sleeping disorder and you want to try to resolve the issue without the help of a physician first, there are a few preventative measures that you can take:
If you decide that it is time to consult your physician, it may be a good idea to keep a sleep diary for a few weeks to bring with you to your next medical appointment. Keeping track of your sleeping patterns and your state of restfulness throughout the day can be a helpful indicator for your doctor. The below is a list of the possible solutions that your physician can suggest:
Sleep Apnea can be very serious, but there are several treatment plans that can help you with prevention and improving your quality of life. These treatments may also help to improve your overall health. Consult your doctor with any other questions if you are at all concerned about Sleep Apnea.