Sleep apnea is a medical condition that may leave one feeling tired and even depressed throughout the day. Without treatment, sleep apnea could lead to more serious issues, such as heart health conditions.
Seeking treatment is very wise if you believe you may have sleep apnea. As the following overview will address, you may be a candidate for several potential sleep apnea treatment options.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person’s breathing stops and starts throughout the night as they sleep. Potential symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Feeling like you haven’t gotten proper rest, even after a full night of sleep
- Dry mouth upon waking
- Gasping for air while sleeping
- Headache in the morning
- Lack of focus during waking hours
- Irritable mood
Be aware that some of the common symptoms of sleep apnea may be difficult for a person with this condition to notice on their own. For example, someone with sleep apnea might not realize they snore loudly or gasp for air while sleeping. Thus, if you share a bed with someone and suspect you might have sleep apnea, ask them if they can monitor you for symptoms you might not be aware of.
The Importance of Seeking Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Seek treatment sooner rather than later if you suspect you have sleep apnea. Left untreated, this condition could result in:
- General fatigue
- Prolonged moodiness
- Inability to concentrate at work or school
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular health issues
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Liver issues
Untreated sleep apnea could even have a negative influence on a person’s relationships. For example, if they’re irritable due to untreated sleep apnea, they may not get along with family and friends as well as they otherwise could. Or, if a person with this condition snores loudly, their partner may struggle to get sufficient sleep at night.
Sleep Apnea Risk Factors: Essential Information
Some individuals may be more likely to develop sleep apnea than others. Risk factors for sleep apnea include the following:
- Family history
- Being overweight
- Being male (although women can also develop sleep apnea)
- Using alcohol
That’s not an exhaustive list. Again, if you at all suspect you have this condition, seek care, even if these risk factors don’t apply to you.
Curing Sleep Apnea: What You Need to Know
Technically, there is no cure for sleep apnea. That said, it is often possible to manage symptoms and significantly reduce the impact sleep apnea has on one’s quality of life.
Making lifestyle changes can help. According to the National Institutes of Health, patients with this condition may experience improvements as a result of:
- Losing weight
- Adhering to a consistent sleep schedule
- Limiting alcohol consumption or avoiding it altogether
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing caffeine consumption
There are also several treatment options available to sleep apnea patients. They include:
- CPAP machines, breathing devices that help keep a patient’s airways open as they sleep
- Custom mandibular advancement devices, which can help maintain an unobstructed airway
- Surgery to widen breathing passages
The right treatment for you will depend on a range of factors. Discuss this topic with a professional to learn more about treating your sleep apnea.
Learn About Sleep Apnea Treatments in Aliso Viejo, CA