Sleep disorders affect our lives tremendously. The quality of our night’s sleep determines how we will function the next day. Sleep apnea is not only annoying for the sufferer but their partner as well. You may not realize that you have a problem if you don’t pay attention to the signs or if you normalize the situation. You should be aware of the symptoms and the treatment options to get better in various aspects of your life.
Signs and Symptoms
The first step in any treatment is to acknowledge that you have a problem. The signs are easy to notice if you pay attention to yourself and stop ignoring how you feel. You should familiarize yourself with them because without the knowledge you won’t be able to relate your suffering to sleep apnea.
Annoying Sounds During Sleeping
You may have been told that you make noises in your sleep. For instance, snoring can be horrible for anyone staying in the same room as you. A more noticeable sound is when you wake in the middle of the night gasping for air because suddenly you have stopped breathing.
Restlessness and excessive turning over in the bed are one of the red flags. Your position may also be distorted and you will wake up with neck and back pain as if you were spending the night on the floor.
Some mental illness signs may show up out of nowhere. For instance, anxiety, tiredness, and depression episodes. You may wake up with a headache, loss of concentration, and develop memory issues.
Sleep deprivation resulting from insomnia leads to lower oxygen levels and tiredness, which lower the levels of testosterone. So, men may experience sexual dysfunction and they become unwilling to get involved in any sexual activity. This becomes a serious issue if not addressed immediately.
Being a mouth breather can lead to snoring and sleep apnea. When you keep your mouth open for long hours, your oral cavity, lips, and throat get severely dehydrated, so you wake up with a sore throat.
You Have Risk Factors
Some factors contribute to developing sleep apnea. The most common are obesity and hypertension. Family history plays an important role as well. Studies showed that this disorder is more prevalent in males especially middle-aged ones.
After being diagnosed with sleep apnea, you need to figure out the next step to deal with it. There are a lot of available treatment options that you can choose from. The doctors will recommend the best plan for you and that will be effective in your case.
Being Hooked to a Machine
A mask connected to a machine is one of the options if your case is not getting better. The reason behind the disorder dictates which type of mask you should use. A full-face CPAP mask is the most common one, and it is used to hold your mouth in place if your jaw drops when you doze off. There are also other types such as a nasal cradle, BiPAP, and ASV masks which are chosen according to your condition. The main idea behind these masks is to provide a positive pressure of airflow. That way, you won’t wake up feeling suffocated. They are also well-secured in their place which provides comfort.
Dental and oral appliances as mouth guards that are used in orthodontic treatment and other aspects of dentistry can also be used in sleep apnea cases. The device holds the tongue in place which allows you to breathe properly. It is easy to use and requires regular cleaning after you remove it.
If you want a more permanent solution without the need for external appliances, then neuro-stimulation therapy may be optimum for you. An implant will be placed on your chest to give signals to the muscles that are responsible for breathing and closing the mouth. They control airway flow as well. They will act as your brain and you will have full control over them by an external device.
You can help yourself at home by changing your lifestyle. First of all, you should put yourself on a healthy diet plan to control your weight. Practicing yoga and breathing techniques may adjust your ability to breathe.
Sleep apnea is a serious issue that alters your whole life. Its huge effect shouldn’t be ignored or taken lightly. When the hours we are supposed to be relaxed are disturbed, we become more irritable and our mental and physical health deteriorates. That’s why you should keep track of the signs and if you have doubts, you should see a doctor. The treatment is not hard and early diagnosis can help you control the illness.