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Suffer From Sleep Apnea
Do your kids tell you that you snore like a chainsaw? Or, do you wake up at night gasping for air, and not understand why? Well, it's possible that you could be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where the body actually stops breathing for a period of time.
Sleep apnea literally means "sleep without breath" and can result from respiratory muscle weakness (known as central sleep apnea) or a blockage of the trachea, or airway (known as obstructive sleep apnea.) Obstructive sleep apnea is much more common than central sleep apnea and can be caused by a variety of factors including obesity, congestion in the throat, tonsillitis or mononucleosis. If the obstruction is big enough and the sufferer cannot breathe properly, there is a chance for sudden death from obstructive sleep apnea.
People who suffer from central sleep apnea have brain respiratory control centers that are imbalanced when they are sleeping. The brain doesn't react fast enough to maintain a proper balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood. This causes the body to stop breathing until the levels are balanced again. Fortunately, the effects of central sleep apnea rarely cause sudden death in those who suffer from it.
If this symptoms sound familiar, see your doctor. He will be able to perform a battery of tests to determine what type of sleep apnea you have and can prescribe effective sleep apnea treatments. When you visit your doctor, he will most likely conduct Polysomnography, or sleep study tests.
Once your doctor has determined what type of sleep apnea you have, he will recommend sleep apnea treatments. There are a variety of ways to treat sleep apnea, including:
* Diet and Exercise Changes: Diet and exercise can have a big impact on your weight, which can, in turn, reduce your body fat and reduce your risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
* Lifestyle Changes: Alcohol, sedatives and other types of medications can relax the body and cause too much relaxation. If the muscles relax too much, the body won't breathe properly. Avoiding those as much as possible will help alleviate that risk.
* Changes in Sleeping Habits: If you sleep on your back, it is more likely that you will suffer sleep apnea. Try to sleep on your sides to keep the airways open as much as possible. There are pillows that you can buy that will prevent you from rolling on to your back while asleep.
* Dental Devices: Dentists can give you certain sleep apnea treatments to help you prevent sleep apnea. These include tongue restricting-devices and devices that keep your mouth open to let air flow freely.
* Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): These sleep apnea treatments involve wearing a mask over your nose that is hooked to a machine that delivers a set level of air pressure to prevent the airway from collapsing. These devices are very effective for sleep apnea treatments. However, these machines are bulky and it is hard to sleep while wearing one.
* Surgery: Surgeries are sleep apnea treatments that are commonly conducted in people who have obstructive sleep apnea. In surgery, the doctor will remove any part that can obstruct the airway. The tonsils, uvula or soft palate are common parts that are removed.
As you can see, there are a variety of sleep apnea treatments. The important thing is that you seek treatment early to avoid continued sleeping problems. You don't have to suffer from this alone!
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