You are said to be suffering from sleep apnea if you are experiencing chronic sleep deprivation that results from periodic breathing pauses that last up to 10 seconds and occur as many as 50 times per hour.
Due to the breathing pauses, you jolt from sleep, making your sleeping shallow. When you are suffering from the condition, you should see a sleep apnea doctor.
Types of sleep apnea
You can suffer from three types of sleep apnea:
Obstruction sleep apnea: Also known as OSA, this is the most common condition. When suffering from the condition your throat muscles relax when you are sleeping, and the air passages get blocked due to the relaxation of the soft tissues around your throat and nasal passages.
Central sleep apnea: It’s also known as CSA and comes about when there is an imbalance in the brain’s respiratory control center. Due to the imbalance, there is a disruption of signals between the brain and diaphragm muscles that control breathing.
Mixed apnea: Here, you show symptoms of OSA, but when you clear the blocked airway, you show signs of CSA. Due to these complexities, the condition is also known as complex sleep apnea (CompSA).
When you are suffering from any sleep apnea, you tend to show a wide range of symptoms that include:
- Waking up thirsty
- Drowsiness during the day
- Loud and incessant snoring
- Waking up due to choking and shortness of breath
- Breathing pauses for more than 10 seconds
- Intermittent sleep
- Difficulty concentrating when awake
When you show any of these symptoms, you should visit a sleep apnea expert to diagnose the condition and recommend the best treatment option.
Sleep apnea treatment options
The treatment option that you can go with depends on the extent and type of sleep apnea that you are suffering from. Some of the most popular sleep apnea treatment options include:
Therapy: Here the doctor tries to treat the condition using sleep apnea machines. You are hooked to a machine that supplies air under constant pressure. The positive air pressure provided by the machine keeps your airways open.
Surgery: Here the doctor removes the tissues that might be obstructing the airways. Some of the surgeries that you can undertake are: Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, Maxillomandibular advancement, and tracheostomy.
This is what you need to know about sleep apnea. You should note that the condition can result in death if you don’t treat it early enough. To be on the safe side, you should visit a sleep specialist as soon as you notice the symptoms.