Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea symptoms are the result of a condition in which a person actually stops breathing for perhaps a minute or sometimes longer several times throughout the night. Usually a person that has this condition may not even realize he or she is experiencing obstructive breathing problems while sleeping and are only made aware by spouses who witness the frightening episodes. Central, obstructive and mixed apnea are the three types of nighttime breathing problems. The central condition does not originate from obstructions of any sort, but is caused by the brain's inability to send signals to muscles that induce breathing. The obstructive condition is the most common and is caused by an obstruction that intermittently stops air flow. Mixed apnea is a condition that combines the other two conditions and causes a sufferer to wake up enough to breathe, but doesn't allow a restful night. "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me to dwell in safety." (Psalm 4:8) There are various treatment protocols to address all types of the condition including surgery, sleep apnea machines and self help methods.
Most people who have symptoms of the condition are more likely to be over 40, male and overweight although any age, gender and physical size may be diagnosed with it. The problem is more common than most people realize with over 10 million people in the U.S. having some form of the condition. Many do not seek treatment and may sustain serious health problems if left untreated. Sleep apnea symptoms include heart problems, high blood pressure, headaches, memory loss, lack of concentration, cardiovascular disease and much more. One of the most common symptoms associated with the issue is loud, annoying snoring. Since obstructive problems are generally the most pervasive among those who suffer with chronic breathing problems at night, there are many treatments targeted at opening the airway as well as providing oxygen for those who may not receive enough to the brain while sleeping.
In order for a person to receive the right treatments, a physician that specializes in the disorder can arrange testing that is done at home or in a sleep lab where a person is monitored through a sleep test. A polysomnogram is conducted where electrodes are placed at specific points on the body to determine heart rate, brain activity, oxygen in the blood, eye movement, and breathing. Even audio recordings of snoring and other sounds are made that may help determine the cause of the problem. The tests are easily monitored by the patient at home or at a clinic by professionals and are generally paid for by most people's insurance companies. Those who experience less serious sleep apnea symptoms may only need to conduct self help measures to improve their sleep. Losing weight, changing pillows, sleeping on their side and elevating the neck can reduce or eliminate symptoms altogether in some cases. People who are diagnosed with more severe forms of the condition may require anything from surgery to the use of sleep apnea machines for long term relief.
Sometimes surgery to the nasal cavity, tonsils, adenoids, uvula and other throat tissue may be necessary to correct the problem. Obstructions can occur at birth and go unnoticed until a person grows older at which time tissue begins to loosen in the neck and throat which can block easy breathing at night. Another method of treatment that can help those who have severe problems is by using one of the various sleep apnea machines. Most of the machines are manufactured to force air into the lungs and provide much needed oxygen to the brain while also minimizing snoring and 'no breath' episodes. Many patients who use these types of products claim that they awaken in the morning rejuvenated and refreshed like never before. The spouses of those who wear a sleeping machine at night can also rest without being concerned that their husband or wife will not catch the next breath.
Other products such as dental devices, bedding products and other apparatuses can also be found among the broad range of treatment options. Doctors can prescribe various products that may alleviate or altogether eliminate sleep apnea symptoms for many people. Most products cannot be purchased from a supplier without a prescription from a physician. Breathing apparatuses are moderately expensive and reputable companies always provide warranties as well as guarantees with the items purchased. Health insurance companies provide coverage for sleep apnea machines which is a welcome relief to those who may not be able to afford several hundred dollars or more for the answer to their problems. There are machines made for those who travel and units that can include a humidifier as well. A user can choose from a variety of masks that are compatible with units. Even though sleep conditions can be problematic for a patient as well as the family, there are many ways to deal with symptoms that can provide major relief to all concerned. There are many licensed health professionals that can provide proper testing, an accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment protocol for a wide variety of sleep apnea symptoms.
Sleep apnea treatments can be performed through a variety of methods for the individual that is suffering from this problem, having every area of life disrupted due to the lack of sound sleep. Mechanical devices are one popular method of sleep apnea treatment that physicians suggest that patients use. Several surgeries exist and many patients opt for the procedure. However, many times successful alternatives can be performed in the home by the individual without the use of mechanical devices or surgery.
There is in-home breathing equipment that can be used to induce sound rest through increased oxygen. One device uses methods similar to providing the oxygen through a mask. With this device patients receive continuous air throughout the night to insure that breathing continues. Another device that is very similar is also used in sleep apnea treatment. This device is slightly more sophisticated because it has the ability to sense when an individual needs air depending on the rate of breathing that is monitored through both inhaling and exhaling.
Surgery is sometimes a last resort for patients but can be one of the most successful treatments in providing relief. Through monitors and testing, doctors can often pinpoint the patients cause of sleep apnea, making it possible to use corrective surgery as sleep apnea treatments to reduce the problem. Sometimes surgery is required in the throat of the patient. Surgery may be performed in the nasal passages as well, to aid in sleep apnea treatment. In rare cases, surgery on the patients jaw has been performed to improve air flow.
If this problem has not progressed or is not a major issue for the individual, the proceeding sleep apnea treatments may not provide the best answer. In many cases, the individual can take control of their health and make lifestyle changes that will decrease restless nights. Weight loss or reduction can be very helpful to the individual because excess fat can make it difficult for the individual to breathe. One successful way to pursue sleep apnea treatment is for the patient to stop smoking, if he or she does so. When the lungs are filled with smoke, breathing may be more difficult. Also, by reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption, especially at night, the problem may be reduced because alcohol decreases reflexes that are needed for breathing.
When frustrated by the lack of restful sleep, patients may also want to spend time meditating on God's Word. The Bible provides many psalms and laments where God's children cry out to Him for rest for their weary souls. "In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us." (Psalm 62:7-8) By meditating on His Word, we can calm our spirits and enter into rest.
Stop Snoring DevicesStop snoring devices solve health problems such as sleep apnea and respiratory problems in addition to bothersome noise while sleeping. Understanding the cause of the problem leads to more effective treatment. Although the problem may not present itself in an obvious way, trial and error with a variety of options may lead to a solution for snoring problems as well as uncover other health problems. These additional problems may or may not be successfully treated by the chosen stop snoring products. Speaking with a doctor about testing in order to diagnose the problem may include blood testing for disease, x-rays to show infection, and even mental evaluation in order to detect high levels of stress. Due to the many different possibilities for diagnosis a patient needs to remain patient in their search for answers.
Throughout the years a variety of potentially effective cures have flooded the marketplace both medically and alternatively, the bottom line is finding a cure for what causes a person to snore not snoring itself. Most commonly this problem is caused by a restriction of airflow from the mouth and nose to the lungs. Other causes might include inflammation due to infection, disease, or birth defect. Additionally inflammation may occur due to allergy. Medications to kill bacteria in the body and control allergy symptoms are available through prescription, though sometimes a successful cure lies in cleaning and decluttering. The less chance of bacteria and mold growth the better off a person is no matter what the root cause of the problem. Some stop snoring devices include hydration and air purification accomplished through humidifiers and air cleaning devices. In some more serious and less common cases relocation to a new city may be necessary depending on the chemical exposure and pollen levels. An allergy test and ear/nose/throat doctor can determine this need more specifically.
Some people need stop snoring products such as a bite splint, which is available through most dentist offices. This device corrects an over or under bite which may be preventing proper airflow to the lungs. There are two types available: generic and specialized. A specialized splint involves taking a mold of the teeth in order to produce a perfect replica of the mouth for a more comfortable fit. Generic options are available over the counter; however do offer options such as small, medium, and large. Children may even use these stop snoring devices, but only if recommended by the dentist. Choking hazards are much greater in children; therefore a specialized option may be more suitable. In some cases a specialist may be recommended in order to diagnose properly. This specialist may find dysfunction in the brain, digestive tract, or even the spine. Appropriate referrals result after diagnosis such as a neurologist, gastroenterologist, or chiropractor. As a parent, learning as much as possible about any diagnosis will further aid a child in finding comfort with stop snoring products and avoiding unnecessary treatment.
Nasal sprays are designed to offer relief to inflamed passageways and may be used several times a day depending on the recommendation of the doctor and what the patient feels works best. In addition to certain techniques and stop snoring products a person should consider certain lifestyle habits that may hinder optimal breathing while awake as well as asleep. These habits include alcohol consumption, the use of sleeping pills, and caffeine. Though sleeping pills may attempt to offer a solution, they are not addressing the real problem only the symptom. In addition, a person may not find relief in the suggested dose and choose to increase, which may lead to addiction, or new health problems associated with overdose. Finding a doctor that will search for and appropriately address any health issues leads to more appropriate action from the patient and quicker resolution of the problem, however even the best doctors occasionally run across a situation to which they cannot diagnose and treat. In this instance self-treatment for coping may be the only possibility. And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (Romans 5:3)
Certain breathing and throat exercises may offer a solution to passageway problems. These exercises include pressing the tongue against the lower row of teeth for 5 minutes at a time and taking a pencil between the teeth for 5 minutes. These exercises strengthen the jaw and throat muscles, which may lead to relief. The main goal of any exercise associated with solving snoring problems is to restore strength in the throat, keep the airway open, and increase airflow to the lungs. Cardiovascular activity greatly increases a persons overall health, therefore may offer relief to many problems possibly associated with snoring problems. Changing exercise habits should include gradual change over a long period of time. Unless a life threatening disease is diagnosed a person has time to work him or herself into a changed lifestyle. Too much change at one time can lead to failure therefore not solving the problem. Stop snoring devices are meant to be a tool toward recovery of the symptom, however getting to the root of the problem is of most importance. Some bedtime routine changes may further offer relief. These changes include the consumption of warm liquids in order to relax the muscles in the passageway from the mouth to stomach. Honey has also proven effective for some people because it coats the throat creating a cushion against irritation during sleep.