How Do You Know If You Have Sleep Apnea?
Do you still wake up tired or groggy with a headache accompanied by an ill-feeling even after clocking in several hours of sleep? Or does your spouse suffer from a lack of sleep due to your constant and loud snoring, choking, and gasping sounds? Chances are you might be suffering from a sleep disorder called sleep apnea. If not treated, this can be a dangerous condition where your breathing is obstructed while you sleep.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are two types of sleep apnea and they are:
Obstructive sleep apnea – A blockage is caused in the airway when the soft tissue collapses in the throat while you are sleeping. This is more common in occurrence.
Central sleep apnea – Unstable respiratory control may fail to signal the brain to breathe. This is a rare condition, but if diagnosed needs immediate medical attention.
Are you at risk?
You are more at risk if you:
- Are a male and over 40 years of age, but sleep apnea can happen to anyone and at any age. Even children can develop sleep apnea.
- Are Overweight for your age and height
- Have a long neck (more than 16 inches for women and more than 17 inches for men) and a comparatively small jaw-bone
- Have a family history of sleep disorders
- Have diseases such as GERD, allergies, or sinus problems
- Have a structural deformity such as a deviated septum
If sleep apnea goes untreated for too long, it can turn into more serious health disorders such as:
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat which may lead to cardiac arrest
- Worsened ADHD
- Severe headaches
Along with all the above-mentioned symptoms, sleep apnea can affect your performance at work or school, and it can make you a difficult person to deal with at home, further affecting your family life.
Some of the most common symptoms involved with sleep apnea are exceptionally loud snoring, restlessness while you are trying to sleep and waking up in between sleep cycles with the feeling that you are choking or gasping for air, and insomnia.
While you are awake, you may wake up with a dry or sore throat, have chronic headaches, feel tired while you are driving or even while you are working, experience fluctuations in your mood, and have a decreased libido.
Diagnosing Your Sleep Apnea
If you feel as if you have any of the following symptoms, it is important that you schedule a consultation with doctor who is well-versed in diagnosing sleep apnea and treating it. Your doctor will perform the appropriate tests to find out what’s wrong and let you know if you have the condition and provide you with steps to follow. It will help give you peace of mind and give you a pathway to a healthier life.
Treating Sleep Apnea
If it is found that you have sleep apnea, you will first be asked to make modifications to your lifestyle such as:
- Losing weight
- Decreasing your alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking
If your condition is severe then you will have to wear a continuous positive airway pressure mask that will be attached to a machine that delivers air to help improve your breathing patterns while you are sleeping. Dental devices are also available to help regulate breathing. You may need surgery if your septum is divided in the nasal passage or you have tonsillitis.
Contact the Snore Experts
If you feel uncomfortable about your quality of sleep, it is best to get yourself checked before the problems progress. Do not ignore the signs of your body is giving you. Contact the Snore Experts to Schedule Your Consultation today.