Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can cause several health problems if not treated in time. Among the problems, it can cause heart problems and increased blood pressure.
This alteration generates a stop in breathing repeatedly while the person sleeps, which causes annoying and loud snoring, and great fatigue in those who suffer from it. The people who tend to suffer more from this annoying alteration are overweight men.
To diagnose this disorder, the doctor could perform an examination depending on the symptoms and signs that you present. If you have the possibility of attesting how your dreams have been in the last few days, someone who lives in your house could give this valuable information.
Commonly, to properly evaluate, you should perform a breathing monitoring while you sleep, in addition to evaluating other body functions through a nocturnal polysomnography test, in which you should connect a computer that monitors the activities of the heart, brain, lungs, limb movements, breathing, and oxygen levels while you are sleeping.
Although you can also perform tests at home to detect sleep apnea that consists of measuring heart rate, breathing patterns, air flow, and oxygen levels. In case of being affirmative and having this disorder, there are several treatments.
When the sleep apnea is milder, certain changes in the person’s lifestyle are usually recommended, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, among others. If you have nasal allergies, a specific treatment for the type of allergy will be recommended.
If the above measures do not help to improve the symptoms or the apnea is more severe, other treatments should be applied. Either using devices that allow opening an obstructed airway or even cases in which surgery should be performed.
Among the therapies to be performed we have:
- Continuously pressurizing the airways using a machine that produces air pressure through a mask. It is done so that the air pressure exerted is greater than the air pressure of the environment. In this way, the airways can be unclogged.
- Other devices to generate airway pressure. These are used when masks for continuous positive airway pressure are insufficient, so it is suggested to use another device that generates pressure in the airways, and that can automatically adjust the pressure while sleeping. Some devices generate bilevel positive pressure, which generates more pressure when the person inhales and less pressure when exhaling.
- Oral appliances are a great option to combat this disorder, as they do not allow the throat to close. These devices are often easier to use but less effective than continuous pressure devices. Most of these devices are created so that at the moment of pushing the maxillary bone the throat opens. It will reduce obstructing apnea and snoring.
- Among the causes that generate apnea are neuromuscular or cardiac problems, so getting a treatment depending on which of these disorders you have can help you with apnea.
- Using oxygen while you sleep will also help combat central sleep apnea. There are several ways you can use devices to send oxygen to the lungs.
Finally, when other treatments do not work, surgery is an option. This can be considered when other treatments have been tried for at least 3 months. For those who have problems with the jaw bone, surgery is usually the main option. Find also a dentist for sleep apnea