How To Deal With Sleep Apnea

how to deal with sleep apnea treatment trouble sleeping

Sleep Apnea 

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that should be treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, the condition could lead to serious complications such as heart problems, high blood pressure, and extreme daytime fatigue among others. If you know someone with his problem, or if you suspect you have the disorder, make a prompt appointment to see a competent doctor like Dr. Scott Young, so you can get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. There are many ways to deal with the problem but it will require the support and guidance of a doctor. There are two primary forms of sleep apnea – obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Most people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, but because the diagnosis involves some sleep study, most people find it uncomfortable and inconvenient. However, treatment options are effective. 

Finding The Difference 

To differentiate between the two complications, find out the cause. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the direct interference of the air passage during sleep, mostly due to the throat muscles relaxing and causing interrupted breathing. The throat muscles should remain open to keep the mouth and throat open so that air can pass through. Other supporting throat structures include the soft palate, tongue, tonsils, and uvula. If they relax too much, the passage is blocked. Interrupted breathing will cause the amount of oxygen in your blood to be inadequate, which forces the brain to wake up in order to restore sufficient amounts of air. For most people with a problem, they don't remember waking up. This may occur many times throughout the night, resulting in a poor quality of sleep. 

Sometimes, the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea may overlap with those of obstructive sleep apnea. Some of these symptoms include daytime fatigue and sleepiness, very loud snoring, waking up suddenly with feelings of shortness of breath, noticeable moodiness, problems with insomnia, and high blood pressure, among others. 

Identifying Causes 

The underlying causes of sleep apnea are different between the two types. With central sleep apnea, the brain sends wrong signals to the muscles that control regular breathing. Most of the time, central apnea is related to another medical condition, especially those associated with the cardiovascular system, such as heart problems, or a history of stroke. Some medications, such as opiates, when used repeatedly in large doses may cause central sleep apnea. Examples of opiates include codeine, oxycodone, and morphine. 

Treatment With Lifestyle Changes 

Making lifestyle changes can help treat sleep apnea. Once you've sought medical attention and confirmed your diagnosis, begin by adjusting factors within your control to alter the disorder. Avoid smoking and alcohol, especially if it's excessive and regular. Alcohol slows down your breathing significantly, causing the amount of oxygen in your blood to be lowered. You need as much oxygen in your blood, especially if you have the disorder. Avoid alcohol at least four hours before bedtime. If you need help stopping alcohol and smoking, talk to a professional. There are over-the-counter products that can help you successfully quit smoking. 

If you're obese or overweight, lose weight as this is a primary cause of sleep apnea. Manage your weight in order to control your symptoms. Your doctor can help you by referring you to a nutritionist and an exercise therapist. Routine medications can also help, and if they are aggravating the condition, the doctor can also change them. 

Final Thoughts On Dealing With Sleep Apnea

You also want to make sure you have a good mattress for sleeping and a room conducive to proper sleep habits as well! A Cpap machine or sleeping medication might be needed depending on your difficulty with sleeping.