Sleep apnea is sleep-disordered breathing, that is people breathe abnormally or gasp or experience lapses as they sleep. It can lead to serious health problems like high blood pressure or high blood pressure if you don’t treat sleep apnea. When loud snoring is accompanied by daytime sleepiness or fatigue, this might be a sign of sleep apnea.
Causes of sleep apnea
Two main types of sleep apnea are obstructive and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, due to the blockage of air by soft tissues in the rear of the throat collapsing. While central sleep apnea is caused due to central nervous system dysfunction. Patients with heart failure and other forms of lung, heart, or kidney diseases are prone to it.
Treatment of sleep apnea
In cases of obstructive sleep apnea that are mild, conservative therapy might be all that is needed. Following techniques can help treat the mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea
- Losing weight is the first thing to do for overweight persons. Even a small fraction of weight loss reduces the number of apneic events for most people.
- Avoiding the use of alcohol and certain drugs would help to reduce the sleep apnea encounters. They make the airway more likely to collapse and cause prolonged apneic periods. Thus, avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills might help to treat sleep apnea.
- Using a wedge pillow or any other device that helps to sleep in a side position may help individuals who sleep on their back. This technique is only for those who encounter breathing problems only when they sleep on their back.
- Individuals who have sinus problems or nasal congestion must consider nasal sprays to reduce snoring. Breathing strips can also be used for improving airflow and getting comfortable nighttime breathing.
The preferred initial treatment for most people with sleep apnea is Positive Airway Pressure(PAP). In PAP, patients have to wear a mask over their mouth or nose. Air is gently forced through an air blower through the nose or mouth. It prevents airway closure while sleeping and the air pressure is adjusted just enough to prevent the upper airway tissues from collapsing. Some of the positive airway pressure devices to treat sleep apnea are given below
- CPAP: CPAP is short for continuous positive airway pressure. It is the most widely used device among all the PAP devices. It is set at one single pressure.
- Bi-Level PAP: this machine uses one pressure during inhalation and lowers the pressure while exhaling.
- Auto CPAP: This is also called Auto Bi-level PAP, it uses a range of pressures that self regulates while in use. The machine detects the pressure requirements and then works accordingly.
- Adaptive Servo-Ventilation: it is noninvasive ventilation used for patients who suffer from central sleep apnea. It acts to keep the airway open and deliver mandatory breath when required.
Changing your lifestyle is the priority if it is unhealthy and causes severe health problems. So before trying machinery or surgery try to quit alcohol or any kind of sleeping pills. Losing weight for overweight persons is also recommended. But if it does not go away with simply treating it at home then you must go and consult with doctors and use equipment to treat it.