Sleep Apnea Symptoms and Treatment Options

Sleep apnea is a breathing condition that occurs while you sleep. Typical symptoms are interruption of the normal breathing pattern with bouts of shallow breathing or breathing pauses. These could last anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds and could repeat hundreds of times during a night’s sleep.

If untreated, sleep apnea will disturb your sleep pattern preventing you from getting a restful night’s sleep. During the pauses your natural sleep rhythm is disrupted because of which you get less of deep, restorative sleep than you need to be fresh, energetic and productive the day following.

During an episode of sleep apnea your airflow is obstructed reducing your blood oxygen level. Your brain responds automatically by waking you up briefly enough to start breathing again. Most often your throat muscles will constrict to open your wind pipe.If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea you are unlikely to recall these episodes.

Because of sleep deprivation you feel drowsy during the daytime, have difficulty in concentrating and your reflexes are impaired. People who suffer from this condition are at serious risk of accidents while driving or operating heavy machinery. Sleep apnea leads to other more serious health issues like hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weight gain and stroke.

There are various self-help treatment options for sleep apnea if the symptoms are not severe. These include:

• Losing weight

• Quitting smoking

• Avoiding sleeping pills, sedatives and alcohol

• Avoiding heavy meals and caffeine

• Maintaining regular sleep hours

If lifestyle changes and self-help strategies do not work then you need to visit a sleep specialist to establish the underlying cause. There are various breathing devices available today which are used to control sleep apnea of the obstructive variety.

For more information on sleep Apnea Symptoms and treatment options, call PrimeMedical at 321-548-0201.