Do you sleep while working ? Tired of snoring?
Everyone has trouble sleeping once in a while. Your busy schedule, stress, caffeine or wrong foods can keep you from getting the sleep you need. But sometimes sleeping problems can be more serious. Sleep apnea is the commonest sleeping disorder.
Sleep apnea occurs when enough air cannot move into your lungs while you are sleeping. When you are awake, and normally during sleep, your throat muscles keep your throat open and air flows into your lungs. In obstructive sleep apnea, however, the throat briefly collapses, causing pauses in your breathing. Your breathing may become hard and noisy and may even stop for short periods of time (apneas).
Obstructive sleep apnea can also occur in children who snore. If your child snores, you should discuss it with your child’s doctor.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
The most common signs of sleep apnea are:
Choking or gasping during sleep.
Fighting sleepiness during the day (even at work or while driving).
Your family members may notice the symptoms before you do.
Dangers of Going Untreated
If sleep apnea is left untreated it can lead to serious consequences such as:
• Increased risk of heart problems
• Increased risk of high blood pressure
• Increased risk of stroke.
• Motor vehicle accidents or accidents at work.
How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
Your doctor will do a physical exam including examining your throat and take a medical history that includes asking you and your family questions about how you sleep and how you function during the day. A sleep study can be done at night in the comfort of your home. You will go to sleep as usual, while you sleep your snoring, which position you sleep, your breathing and the gaps or pauses, heart rate and the percentage of oxygen in your blood are recorded. The Sleep Specialist will determine whether you have the problem and severity and will then prescribe the necessary treatment.
How is Sleep Apnea treated?
Mild Sleep Apnea is usually treated by some behavioral changes. Losing weight, sleeping on your side is often recommended. Moderately Severe Sleep Apnea is treated with a machine or surgically. Severe sleep apnea is treated with a machine called CPAP/BiPAP. It is a machine with a mask to be worn at night.