What Is Sleep Apnea?
It is a common sleep disorder characterized by snoring, frequent wake-ups, and feelings of inability to breathe. It results from the upper airway collapse, which causes periods of shallow or interrupted breathing while sleeping. Several factors can cause this disorder, including age, weight, and gender. However, lifestyle changes and undergoing a screening test can significantly reduce the symptoms.
The first step in diagnosing sleep apnea is a sleep study. You’ll undergo an overnight sleep study during study, known as a polysomnogram. During the test, a trained technologist will record the various functions of your body while you sleep. You’ll be monitored for breathing pauses throughout the night. The results will allow you and your doctor to determine your condition’s severity.
The second step is to find a sleep study. This test is a polysomnogram conducted in a sleep laboratory or hospital. During this test, your body’s oxygen and breathing patterns are recorded. Your physician will grade your sleep apnea severity according to how many times you’ve stopped breathing during the night. Once you’ve had this test, your doctor can recommend treatment.
The Causes Of Sleep Apnea
Obesity is the leading cause of OSA in adults. Excess weight can lead to fatty tissue blocking the airway while we sleep. Aging can result in weak throat muscles that can collapse during sleep. Luckily, there are many treatment options available for this condition. Here are some of the most common ones. Read on to learn more.
Age And Lack Of Proper Exercise
Some of the common causes of sleep apnea include age and lack of exercise. Other factors may contribute to a person’s risk of developing this disorder. Smoking, allergies, and sleeping on your back can irritate your throat tissue. Surgery can address structural issues in your mouth. Oral appliances can be fitted to prevent your tongue from falling back against your soft palate, preventing airway obstruction.
Frequent bathroom visits are another symptom. Studies show that 84% of individuals with OSA have frequent nighttime bathroom visits. When your brain is deprived of oxygen, it sends a message to your body to wake up. It then begins to race and releases a hormone that tells your body to urinate.
Blockage In The Airway Passage
If you suspect that you have OSA, the most common cause of the disorder is a blockage in the airway. People with OSA may have difficulty breathing and may not even realize they have the problem. If you live alone and do not have any symptoms, you should visit a doctor. Your doctor will perform an exam to diagnose the condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment. You will want to consult a sleep apnea expert as soon as you suspect you have the problem.
Sleep Apnea: Symptoms
While sleeping, many people have pauses in breathing. While you may not realize these pauses, they cause you to wake up and struggle to breathe again. As a result, you don’t get the restful sleep you need to function the next day. You also don’t have enough energy to complete your daily activities, and your body doesn’t recover as it should. This condition can lead to other health problems, so you should seek treatment as soon as possible.
- The first sign of sleep apnea is difficulty falling asleep. Symptoms include waking up with dizziness or headaches.
- If you experience repeated awakenings, you may also experience a choking sensation. You may also feel sluggish during the day. If you have difficulty breathing at night, you may have frequent nightmares. If you feel this way, you should talk to your doctor. They can order a sleep study to determine the severity of your problem.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately. Your sleep disorder may have been causing your sleep apnea. Besides your symptoms, you may have experienced a sore throat or dry mouth and trouble concentrating or focusing. If your breathing is shallow or stopped altogether, you might be suffering from sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
There are two ways to diagnose sleep apnea: a physician’s exam and a home sleep test. A doctor will use an Epworth Sleepiness Scale to determine if you have the disorder. This test is done at home with special equipment, which records your heart rate and blood oxygen levels throughout the night. The results will help determine the best treatment options.
The first way to diagnose sleep apnea is through a sleep study. A doctor will perform a nighttime test, known as a polysomnogram, to determine the severity of the disorder. The asleep study is a detailed, in-depth evaluation of your body during sleep. Your heart rate, blood pressure, eye movement, and breathing efforts are recorded during this test. This information is then used to grade the severity of your disorder.
A physician will also perform a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea. A machine will monitor your heart rate and pulse during the sleep study. A physician will analyze the results to determine whether you have apnea. This test is painless, but it may cause discomfort for some people. The physician will use the data to determine a course of treatment.
Although sleep apnea is not considered a major disorder, it is something that you should not ignore. It is a serious condition that can lead to other, more serious health problems. Fortunately, treatment options are available for people with this condition. It is important to see a physician get the proper diagnosis. Your doctor can also recommend a breathing device. The best way to determine if you have the disorder is to consult with a physician.