Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea

4 minute read

By Heather Fishel

Are you feeling excessively sleepy during the day or wake up with a dry mouth, sore throat, or even a headache? You might be suffering from sleep apnea. Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about sleep apnea with a search online.

Unfortunately, many people go without a diagnosis because they don’t recognize the symptoms or they’re mistaken for other health conditions. This is why it’s important to get informed. In this article, we’ll explore the possible signs and treatments.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a health condition that directly affects your sleep – but it can have effects on other aspects of your health and well-being too.

Sleep apnea is technically a sleep disorder. It occurs while you’re asleep; your breathing is interrupted, and you may not get the oxygen you need. Sleep apnea can cause you to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night, sometimes as many as hundreds of times. As a result, your brain and your body cannot get the right amount of oxygen. This is why it’s important to do your research and get informed about the disorder.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common of the two, and it’s caused by a blockage in the airway. Most often, that blockage occurs when soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses while you’re sleeping.

Causes of Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by your throat muscles relaxing while you’re asleep. When they relax too much, you can’t breathe normally. As a result, your brain will wake you from your sleep so you can reopen your airway and get oxygen once again. However, these brief wake-ups are usually so quick that you might not even realize you’re waking up repeatedly.

Risk Factors

Sleep apnea can be caused by several different factors. Certain physical, lifestyle and even genetic aspects can affect your chances of developing this sleep disorder. You may be at risk if you have any of the following factors:

Talk to your doctor if you think you’re at risk for sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

How do so many people go without a sleep apnea diagnosis? Often, it’s because they don’t recognize the disorder’s symptoms. Many of the symptoms of sleep apnea can seem like simple frustrations. They can also be symptoms of other health conditions. This is why it can be helpful to research this information online before consulting a doctor.

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor:

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

When you see your doctor about any potential sleep apnea symptoms, there are several different ways your doctor can determine what’s causing them. Your doctor will first perform a physical exam. This is your opportunity to share any symptoms you’re experiencing. From there, your doctor can order any of the following tests:

Treating Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder that needs to be managed. If left untreated, it can cause serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, or even diabetes. It can even cause dangerous, deadly accidents if you’re falling asleep throughout your daily activities.

Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options for sleep apnea. One option is lifestyle changes, such as cutting out alcohol, stopping smoking, losing weight, and changing the position you sleep in. Other treatment options include:

Learn More About Sleep Apnea Today

Sleep apnea is a common yet often undiagnosed condition that can have serious health consequences. If any of the symptoms mentioned in this article resonate with you, don’t hesitate to seek more information online or consult a healthcare professional. Taking proactive steps to understand and address sleep apnea can significantly improve your well-being and quality of life.

Heather Fishel