Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder that has affected around 18 million Americans, according to a recent survey of The National Sleep Foundation.

What is Sleep Apnea?

It is a sleep disorder in which the affected persons stop breathing for short periods of time while they sleep. The disorder can be risky for people if they don’t get the right treatment. It causes daytime sleepiness and puts people at risk of driving incidents and several other health related issues like stroke, high blood pressure, weight gain, impotence, diabetes and headaches.

Types of sleep apnea:

Commonly there are three kinds of sleep apnea that are being diagnosed by physicians. These three kinds of sleep apnea are:

  • Central Sleep Apnea
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Mixed Sleep Apnea

Among these, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most prevalent and common one. The disease is usually caused by the opening and closing of a soft tissue in the throat during sleep. The disease is generally treated with “Positional therapy”.

Symptoms

  • Consistent loud snoring
  • Trouble during concentration
  • Irritability
  • Insistently feeling weak and tired
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Uncomfortable sleep
  • Headache
  • Morning headache

 Diagnosis

Obstructive sleep apnea needs treatment without getting delay. It means after noticing symptoms of OSA, you should meet a physician as soon as possible before it affects your heart. The diagnosis of the disorder takes place while the patient is sleeping which is called as sleep study. In a sleep lab you are diagnosed with OSA.

The lab will hook you up with many electrodes to measure your brain activity and sleeping position. There is an oxygen sensor to measure your oxygen level and a microphone to record your snoring in the lab. Your sleeping activity is monitored all through the night by the lab technicians to know how long you have stopped breathing and how many times you have done this…..

How to determine if you have sleep apnea problem

There are many ways by means of which it is determined if you are suffering from sleep apnea. And in this quest your bed partner could be the first one to judge if you have the problem. Ask your bed partner to keep a watch on you while you are asleep. In case you have the problem you will snore loudly followed by shallow breathing or total stop in breathing that could last 10 to 20 seconds and then the sudden gasp to regain air.

Some other symptoms that could be identified are:

  • Loss of Memory
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Restless sleep

Treatments

  Home Remedies

  • One of the best remedies of OSA is sleeping on your side as it helps reduce the airway obstruction.
  • Start doing morning exercise to stay fit is also a wonderful home remedy. It’s because the disorder makes people fat.
  • Buy a pillow which is especially designed for sleep apnea patients as the special pillow reduces wheezing.

  Medical Treatments

CPAP which is known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is the most popular treatment for OSA. Different types of machines are used to normalize the patient’s snoring and regularize his breathing.  BiPAP is used for positive airway pressure and VPAP for variable airway pressure. CPAP treatment needs an expert doctor who is specialized in monitoring the airway pressure. Disposable night-use nasal device is used to create positive air pressure. If these treatments fail, surgery is considered an ideal way to get rid of the disorder.

 Tips For Good Sleep