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Do you snore every night? How often do you suffer from day time fatigue and sleepiness? If so, you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. The fact is, OSA occurs in almost 10 % of the total population, but is thought to be one of those underestimated condition where a lot many people are suffering from it but don’t know about it yet. Hence, it is very important to understand sleep apnea and know about its treatment.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea or simply, sleep apnea is a condition where breathing stops while you are asleep, even though for short spells. The word apnea, in itself means without breathe or stopping in breath. Sleep Apnea occurs when the walls of the throat comes together, blocking the upper airway during sleep. Breathing continues to stop until brain record drop in oxygen or lack of breathing and sends a wakeup call. Sleeper rouses slightly, opens the upper airway, gasps and get back to the sleeping mode immediately.
This pattern can repeat itself hundreds of times in a single night leaving the person feeling sleepy and lazy in the morning.
How Heart disease and Sleep Apnea are correlated?
As we all know, our circulatory system is responsible for delivering oxygen to all parts of our body, every time a sleep apnea patient stops breathing during sleep, the amount of oxygen in the blood decreases thus hindering the oxygen supply to the body cells as well. And imagine, when the similar thing happens throughout the night, how much stress would be on your circulatory system. This further creates serious medical condition such as a congestive heart failure, stroke and other heat diseases.
Heart disease and Sleep Apnea are found to be linked with each other after researchers have deduced that sleep apnea treatments are not only good for the patients who are suffering from heart conditions but also for those who are at a higher risk of heart failure. In general poor sleep has been linked to increased risk of heart disease. Obstructive sleep apnea has also been linked to artery damage and high blood pressure.
How to treat sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a critically serious sleeping disorder that needs immediate treatment. You may need to choose one of the following sleep apnea or sleep disorder treatments.
Lifestyle changes- If you are diagnosed to have mild sleep apnea, you can treat it by considering few lifestyle changes such as weight loss, stop smoking and alcohol consumption and avoiding bad sleeping habits like sleeping on the back (instead you can sleep on sides to improve your condition).
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) - CPAP is the most recommended obstructive sleep apnea treatment. The machine uses a steady stream of air to keep your airway open throughout the time you sleep. A mask with a hose will be attached to this machine kept at the bedside.
Other treatments of Sleep Apnea - Apart from Lifestyle changes and CPAP, there are Oral appliance therapy wherein a device is fitted inside your mouth to prevent the airways from collapsing by holding your tongue or sliding the jaw to ease breath while you are asleep. Other options will include surgery, where the surgeon will remove extra tissues from your throat that may block the airway.
The time we spend asleep is the most relaxing and restorative time. Yet for those who suffer from sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, sleeping time can become a struggling period. Hence, it is very important to consider Sleep disorder treatment after proper diagnosis of the problem. Do mind, sleep disorder treatment or sleep apnea treatment can also act as a preventive medicine for heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure.