What You Need To Know About Sleep Apnea Snoring

The sound of​ snoring is​ caused by the airways in​ your nose and throat being partially or​ completely blocked. it​ causes problems for both the snorer and anyone who sleeps with or​ near them.

Sleep apnea is​ a​ more serious condition that occurs when the air blockage causes you to​ stop breathing at​ least 5 times an​ hour, for over 10 seconds each time. Sleep apnea is​ a​ dangerous condition that can ultimately lead to​ death.

If you're suspected of​ suffering from sleep apnea, your doctor will arrange for you to​ have your nose and throat examined to​ find any obvious causes of​ obstruction. This could include an​ anatomical abnormality or​ nasal polyps. The exam is​ handled with either an​ endoscopic exam or​ a​ CT scan.

After the initial diagnosis is​ done you'll be sent to​ a​ sleep lab where you will undergo a​ study of​ your sleeping patterns.

A sleep study monitors your body while you sleep. Some of​ the measurements that will be tracked include:

- blood oxygen levels
- blood pressure
- heart rate
- airflow
- chest & diaphragm movement
- brain activity

You'll stay overnight in​ a​ special sleep lab where these tests will be done with equipment that is​ attached to​ you while you sleep. (It's not as​ bad as​ it​ sounds - you will be able to​ sleep!)

If you're diagnosed with sleep apnea, you'll probably be told to​ avoid any kind of​ sleep medications and alcohol. if​ you're overweight, you'll be advised to​ lose the extra weight. You may also be told to​ start sleeping on your side.

These three simple things can sometimes be enough to​ solve the problem.

If this is​ not enough to​ remedy the problem, you may undergo other sleep apnea treatments such as​ positive pressure ventilation, in​ which you will be given a​ tightly fitting nasal mask through which air is​ pumped. The increased air pressure can help to​ keep your airways open.

If these treatments still don't solve the problem, you may have to​ undergo surgery.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is​ the most common form of​ the condition and generally responds to​ treatment. Central sleep apnea, in​ which there can be brain or​ nerve damage, is​ often not as​ responsive to​ treatment. in​ these cases you may need to​ treat them with drugs that stimulate your breathing.

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