Sleep apnea is a serious condition that if left untreated could lead to cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even sleep-deprived accidents. This condition may first seem like harmless snoring, deep gasping breaths or pauses when sleeping. This should never be ignored because while it may be just as simple as tiredness or how you rest, it could be much more serious. The first step to discovering if you have a concern that calls for someone can do the further investigation you trust, during your sleeping hours.
Have someone check to see if you have pauses in breathing of 10 seconds or longer. If you find episodes of ten seconds or longer happening more than five times in an hour, it calls for further investigation by a medical professional. Additionally, be on the lookout for other concerns such as frequent headaches, restless sleep, daytime drowsiness, or excessive nighttime urination. Also, already existing medical concerns such as obesity, age, high stress, diabetes, arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease put individuals at a higher risk of sleep apnea. Men are more often affected by this disorder than women and those over 40 years of age.
If after some investigation with a person in your home, your concerns check the boxes of sleep apnea the next step would be to visit a doctor. After some first examination’s steps, an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram will be ordered to rule out or diagnose sleep disorders. Poly means a many factored score on this test including brain wave activity, oxygen levels, heart rate, and breathing will be measured during a normal night of sleep in a facility where you are constantly monitored. Additionally, leg and eye movements are recorded as these can further help a doctor take a holistic approach to diagnose you along with your medical history as having a sleep disorder, of which sleep apnea may or may not be the final diagnosis.
Sleep apnea will vary from mild cases that simple diet and lifestyle changes can help remedy, to more serious cases. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) devices are at home machines that may be employed to help with more advanced cases of this disorder, but in some cases, even surgery to help remove underlying conditions such as nasal polyps and adenoids might be called on to help treat this condition.
Sleep apnea is not just simply snoring too much and should not be ignored as it affects your ability to breathe in sleep and can be life-threatening in some cases. Enlisting someone you trust to help gauge your nighttime breathing concerns, and if so, needed helping decide to seek medical advice. Tests, personalized medical history and overall diagnosis of varied elements will help a doctor determined the best course of action to help treat this sleep disorder and ensure you obtain the best night sleep as safely as possible. As with all medical questions, if you feel you might have this disorder enlist help to give you the best outcome as soon as possible.