Have you ever woken up in a complete sleep but still felt restless? There’s a high chance you are snoring throughout the night, and you must take it seriously.
There are many reasons behind what prompts you to do so. But in serious cases, you might want to consider sleep apnea as one of its causes. Read more about this sleep disorder’s signs, causes, and treatments.
While sleep apnea is common, it is something that people must consider treating. This sleep condition causes you to have short pauses in your breathing while you sleep.
Since breathing is involved, having this condition may be dangerous to your health. When you stop breathing, your heart pauses, depriving your brain of the oxygen flow it needs. Naturally, your body will alert you to wake up without realizing it so you can continue to breathe. It may cause your heart rate and blood pressure to rise. This is why people with this disorder feel tired after waking up.
Visiting a sleep apnea clinic can help you confirm whether you have the disorder and provide you with the treatment you need.
It is good to have a sleeping partner to witness your breathing while you sleep. They can determine how heavy or loud you snore. But you can also spot most symptoms while you are awake. There are still signs you can look out for on your own.
If you experience the following, it is better to get diagnosed.
- Irritability and headaches in the morning
- Problems with concentration and memory
- Lower sex drives
- Persistent urge to pee at night
- Sweating during nighttime
Certainly, no one could initially think that a sleeping disorder could be the culprit for these symptoms. But having yourself checked can save you from long-term health risks that sleep apnea can do to your body.
Knowing if you have sleep apnea will require you to dig into your family and medical history, or you might undergo a physical exam. Your history can help confirm if you are truly at risk for the disorder. If you have health conditions such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, doctors can identify if sleep apnea is one of the causes.
A physical exam that will examine your airways, body weight, tongue position, tonsil, and neck size can also help diagnose sleep apnea. Some will also perform tests while you sleep. Your breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, and brain and heart activity will be observed.
There are various contributing factors to why an individual can be diagnosed with sleep apnea. Most reflect on health status, lifestyle, and genetic factors. If you have or have experienced the following, you are most likely at risk of sleep apnea.
- Stroke and High Blood Pressure
- Age and Family History
- Jaw problems
- Taking medications and alcohol
You can control causes like obesity, alcohol intake, and blood pressure levels. What needs to be done is to stir away from activities that encourage these causes to minimize the probability of having sleep apnea.
Leaving this sleep disorder untreated may lead to several long-term health problems in the future. Most of them are issues in your heart. It includes heart failure, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, heart attacks, and stroke.
But the health issues it triggers do not stop in the heart. Sleep apnea can also affect your brain, metabolism, liver, or cancer. Specific health issues are as follows:
- Renal and Pancreatic Cancer
- Metabolic Syndrome
It is vital to receive proper care and treatment for sleep apnea, just as any disease or disorder. The treatment eliminates your chances of acquiring long-term health complications that will take a toll on your body.
There are different ways for people with this condition to be treated.
Lifestyle changes are recommended for mild cases. You may need to lose weight and have nasal allergies cured if there are any. But for serious ones, you may need to use devices or appliances. Here are specific treatments for sleep apnea.
1. Undergoing CPAP Therapy. CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, helps you receive the right amount of air pressure you need while you sleep. It is a machine that helps your airways open, preventing you from snoring and experiencing sleep apnea.
2. Oral appliance for the jaw. Your dentist can make an oral apparatus for you that may help you breathe while you sleep. It keeps your throat open and positions your tongue away from blocking your airway.
Who would have thought that a simple sleeping flaw could lead to serious health complications? It is important to be conscious of your body, especially its changes.
You might not be the one who’ll notice the symptoms first. It is essential to tend to it immediately once you experience the signs. Get checked right away, and do not underestimate the effects of sleep apnea.