Sleep Apnea – Diagnosis & Treatments

In order to bring sleep apnea under control, first one must get the condition properly diagnosed and secondly be proactive in the treatment.

Loud snoring is oftentimes thought of as being indicative of sleep apnea, but this isn’t always the case. In some of the case snoring does accompany sleep apnea, but not all. If you suspect that you may be suffering from sleep apnea and you have a sleeping partner, engage your sleeping partner in help you to determine and help you make an initial diagnosis.

With the assistance of your partner, have them record the number of times there is a disruption in your breathing. Defining and recognizing this type of breathing interruption is a simple process because you’ll either stop breathing, or you’ll make gasping, choking or snorting sounds as you attempt to get your breath back. If you don’t have the opportunity of a sleeping partner, a simple recording device will enable you to review your night’s sleep.

Statistically, most of sleep apnea cases occur in men aged 40 and older and who are also overweight. If this fits your profile, and you know you’ve experienced sleep apnea symptoms, a consultation with your doctor should be in order. If suspected, your doctor can look for obstructions in the nose and mouth and examine your throat and nose using either an endoscope or an X-ray. Another possible, yet not often used tool is a CT scan of the neck and head.

In the event that these diagnostics prove inconclusive and more information be needed, a thorough diagnosis can easily be confirmed by spending a night in a sleep center. At the sleep center your sleeping pattern can be precisely monitored.

The CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the most common treatment option for individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea. The machine a mask is attached to the machine that has a plastic tube measuring several feet in length. The mask itself fits over the nose and/or mouth and while asleep, a continuous supply of pressurized air is forced through the tube which helps keep the airway open.

In some instances there is also a surgical procedure that is used that can remove troublesome tissue from the nose, throat or mouth.

Sleep apnea is largely self treatable. The most effective type of self-treatment is weight loss. That’s right. Simply losing 10% of your body weight can make a dramatic difference.

If you are a smoker and/or a consumer of alcohol, you will also notice a difference if you stop smoking and cut back or stop the alcohol consumption. If you use sedatives, that too should be discontinued.

In addition to the above, you need to get yourself on a regular sleep schedule, one in which you can sleep during nighttime hours… and if you prefer sleeping on your back, it’s time to switch to sleeping on your side.

There’s a mouth piece you can also use to help with sleep apnea. It works by simply opening the airway and keeping the jaw and tongue properly aligned while sleeping.

As with any type of treatment, there are pro’s and con’s associated with each treatment for sleep apnea. Be sure to discuss with your doctor any and all possibilities and work with your doctor as you explore what works best for you.

For more important information on getting a good night’s sleep be sure to visit where you will find advice and tips on sleep habits insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, and more.

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