What is sleep apnea and what are the possible treatments for it?

Some of us have trouble sleeping. However, others have sleep-related conditions, such as sleep apnea, that can be more of a concern. Thankfully, it looks as though there might be ways to help fight the disorder.

What is sleep apnea?

Believe it or not, but there are two types of sleep apnea, and they’re thought to affect 18 million adult Americans. Central sleep apnea is when the brain can’t control breathing properly while asleep. However, obstructive sleep apnea is far more common and involves the muscles at the back of the throat as they fail to ensure the airways stay open. Both stop people from being able to breathe while they are asleep.

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Symptoms of sleep apnea

Of course, being asleep might make it tough to spot any symptoms of the disorder. However, some might be clearer than others – especially if you share your bedroom with someone else. Snoring is thought to be the main sign of sleep apnea. To top it off, waking up suddenly in the night or disturbed sleep that leads to extreme tiredness throughout the day can also signal that you might need some help while you rest.

Lifestyle changes

Thankfully, many lifestyle changes can help to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. Cutting out any drink is said to be one way to help keep yourself healthy while removing any lifestyle habits that interfere with your breathing can be another sure-fire way to reduce the risks. To top it off, losing weight can greatly reduce any dangers as obesity is often thought to be one of the causes of developing sleep apnea.

Continuous positive airway pressure

CPAP is often the most common method for treating sleep apnea. This is a machine that uses a mask attached to a person’s mouth and nose that keeps a higher pressure than the surrounding air. This usually helps to make sure the airways stay open throughout the night. Some people confess that using the machine can be disruptful to start, but a little practice and getting the mask to fit just right can soon see people enjoying the benefits.

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If all else fails, then some people opt for surgery as a way to treat their sleep apnea. However, doctors will typically only recommend this method if everything else has failed for a number of months. Some procedures involve removing tissue while others can shrink tissue, reposition the jaw to make the throat wider, stimulate the nerves, and even create a new air passageway altogether. Thankfully, some surgeries might be as simple as removing any large adenoids or tonsils.

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of people all across the world, and it looks as though it might be easier to treat than we once believed. Sometimes, a few lifestyle changes or a simple machine could be all we need to help tackle a condition that could have once had severe consequences. At last, a peaceful night’s sleep might be within reach!