Sleep apnea can be described as a highly serious disorder of sleep where your breathing starts and stops on a repeated basis. In case you snore loudly there is a chance that you may be suffering from sleep apnea. If you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep then it is possible that you may be suffering from sleep apnea. There are three main types of this disease –
In case you think you are suffering from this disease it is better to seek the help of a doctor.
Loud snoring is a major symptom of sleep apnea. It normally happens more in case of obstructive sleep apnea. There would also be episodes during your sleep where you would stop breathing. However, this would only be seen by another person. You may wake up abruptly from your sleep and could experience shortness of breath as well. This is an indication that you may be suffering from central sleep apnea. If you awake with a sore throat or a dry mouth it is a sign that you could be suffering from sleep apnea. Morning headache is also a major sign in this regard.
Other signs of sleep apnea are insomnia, hypersomnia or feeling highly sleepy even during daytime, attention issues, and irritability.
If you or your partner notice any of the symptoms then it would be wise to seek medical help. If you snore so loudly that you do not let others – and even yourself – sleep then you should see a doctor. Similarly, if you feel choked during sleep and get up on a regular basis you should visit a doctor. If you are unable to sleep at a stretch and feel highly drowsy even during the daytime you should get checked as well.
Normally doctors diagnose patients for sleep apnea on the basis of the symptoms that we have talked about just now. They may also refer to you a center that treats sleep disorder. It is here that a sleep specialist can decide if you need further evaluation or not. Such an evaluation would normally include monitoring your sleep patterns overnight. The doctors, in this case, would also check various other body functions when you sleep. They may suggest home sleep tests as well. Nocturnal polysomnography is a major test in this regard.
If you have a mild case of sleep apnea your doctor would just suggest a few lifestyle changes like asking you to stop smoking or losing weight. In case you are suffering from nasal allergies your doctor would suggest that you get treated for the same. In case your apnea does not improve by these means it means that you may have a severe case on your hands. In such cases, you would have to seek advanced therapies such as various air pressure devices and surgery as well. Apart from these, there are several steps that you can take yourself to deal with the problem of losing weight and working out.