Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder where breathing stops and starts rhythmically. People who snore and wake up tired in the morning after a full night rest are most likely suffering from sleep apnea. This condition is often marked with morning headaches, loud snoring, waking up with dry mouth, and having excessive daytime sleepiness.
There are three types of sleep apnea. These are obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea syndrome. Each of these types of sleep apnea has its symptoms. However, the symptoms of central sleep apnea and obstructive apnea might overlap. Here is a list of general apnea symptoms that you should know:
- Struggling for air when you sleep
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Instances when you stop breathing in your sleep
- Headaches in the morning
- Hyper insomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness
- You struggle to stay asleep
- You struggle to pay attention when you are awake
Once you discover you have sleep apnea, the first step you need to take is to see your doctor. Your doctor will tailor-make treatment for your specific sleep apnea. Nonetheless, here are some of the common treatment methods that you can use:
1. CPAP machine
Continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP) is a common method of treatment used by physicians to correct Sleep Apnea disorder. The CPAP mask or device fits well over your nose and mouth. It blows air gently into your air pipes to help you breathe by keeping them open as you sleep. This procedure is one of the most effective methods of sleep apnea treatment. However, you have to follow your doctor’s guidelines to the latter.
2. Mouth guard
Mouthguards are protective devices worn in the mouth to protect you from grinding or clenching your teeth as you sleep. It is also used by sportsmen to protect themselves against sports injuries. This mouth protective gear can also be used to rescue you from obstructive sleep apnea.
3. Weight loss
Weight loss is important when fighting sleep apnea. Doctors encourage patients with excess weight to lose their weight, more so, on the upper body. Having excessive weight on the upper part of the body will obstruct the airway and narrow nasal passages. These blockages may cause you to stop breathing for longer hours during sleep.
4. Tissue removal surgery
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is the most practised surgical procedure to treat sleep apnea. This surgery was designed to remove excess tissue from the pharynx and the soft palate. Tonsils, if available, are also removed during this surgery. Sutures are then placed to keep the passage open after the surgery.
Tracheostomy is a technique used by surgeons to create a passageway for air. This procedure allows air from the trachea to go directly to the lungs. This, therefore, bypasses any obstruction along the upper airway. This procedure is best suited for morbidly obese patients who suffer from sleep apnea. It is important for the patient together with the doctor to follow the right steps when seeking a surgical process.