Sleep apnea is often referred to as the silent condition. Doctors truly have no way of diagnosing this condition when you are sitting in the doctor’s office. There is no blood test, sign, symptom or cue that may hint to the condition of Sleep Apnea. If you think you may be suffering from this condition consider the following facts.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing for a period of time while you are asleep. There are several types of sleep apnea; however, out of these the most common condition is obstructive sleep apnea. If you have this condition your airway collapses and makes it hard for air to pass through. A small amount of air may pass through or you may not be able to breathe at all. In this case man people begin to gasp to make the airway open back up. When this happens it is often easy for a bed partner to know something is wrong.
What is the Risk Associated with Sleep Apnea?
Due to the lack of oxygen when sleeping sleep apnea can create several problems in your body if it is left untreated. Obesity, heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke are just a few of the conditions you face when having sleep apnea. You even have to worry about the risk of complete heart failure. There are also chances that you could become injured on your job or while driving due to the lack of good sleep. Most people with sleep apnea suffer from chronic fatigue.
How do I get tested?
In order to be tested for sleep apnea your doctor needs to refer you to a sleep center. The center will give you a device that you take home and wear for one night while sleeping. The small, square box keeps track of how many times you stop breathing or struggle with breathing. If there is a problem the center will require you to go and sleep at the facility for one night. This way the doctors can monitor you for an entire night and create a plan to treat your sleep apnea.
What are the Treatments?
There are several treatments for sleep apnea. Many people wear a mask at night that makes them breath correctly. This is perfect for patients who are not very serious. However, as the cases worsen there are several treatment options to consider. Some people require mouthpieces while others have to undergo surgery to correct the problem.
Sleep Apnea is considered chronic due to the fact that most people never get better. Even with surgery the problem doesn’t go away completely. For most people this will be an ongoing battle to find the appropriate treatments and relief. However, with the proper sleep gear many people begin to feel better and live a happy and healthy life. The key is to manage your sleep apnea appropriately to avoid other complications. You and your doctor should work on an ongoing basis to ensure you receive the best treatment.