What is the best treatment for sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potential disorder. This disorder causes difficulty in breathing or stops breathing briefly while sleeping. There are various types of treatments for sleep apnea. However, the doctor will first identify the type of sleep apnea and then prescribe suitable treatment to relieve those symptoms.
People with sleep apnea usually feel exhausted even after sleeping for eight hours. Sleep apnea is generally classified into 3 types. They are as follows:
- Central sleep apnea:
This type of sleep apnea usually occurs when the brain transmits improper signals or stops sending signals to the muscle that controls breathing.
- Obstructive sleep apnea:
This type of sleep apnea usually occurs when the muscle that controls the throat gets relaxed.
- Complex sleep apnea:
This type of sleep apnea is also called treatment-emergent central sleep apnea and usually occurs in people who have both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea
So, if you are experiencing difficulty in sleeping or breathing, then need to consult the best doctor for sleep apnea as soon as possible before it gets worse over time.
Signs of sleep apnea
The signs of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea sometimes overlap with one another. So, this overlap makes it difficult for doctors in identifying which one you have. However, the following are the most common signs of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea:
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness)
- Insomnia (difficulty staying asleep)
- Loud snoring
- Morning headache
- Awakening with a dry mouth
- Episodes that cause you to stop breathing briefly while sleeping.
- Difficulty in paying attention while awake
Causes of central sleep apnea
Central sleep apnea usually occurs when your brain transmits improper signals or stops sending signals to the muscle that controls breathing. This means that you do not put any effort into breathing for a short period while you are sleeping. So, when you have central sleep apnea you might wake up frequently with shortness of breath. Also, you might find difficulty in sleeping or staying asleep.
Risk factors of central sleep apnea
Certain factors can increase the risk of central sleep apnea. The risk factors of central sleep apnea are as follows:
- Heart disorder:
If you are someone with a heart disorder like you have congestive heart failure then it can increase the risk of central sleep apnea.
- Being older:
Old age people are more likely to get central sleep apnea.
- Bring male:
Central sleep apnea is more common in men when compared to women.
- Using narcotic pain medicines:
If you use opioid medicines like methadone then it can also increase the risk of central sleep apnea.
Causes of obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea usually occurs when the muscle that controls the throat relaxes. So, when this muscle relaxes, your airways get narrow or close as you breathe i.e. makes it difficult to get enough air. When this happens, the oxygen level in your blood gets lower.
The brain will try to wake you up when it senses that you are having difficulty or inability to breathe. This is to make your airways reopen again to breathe enough air by waking you from your sleep. In short, people with obstructive sleep apnea will snort, gasp, and choke frequently. When this gets worse, the symptoms can repeat more than 30 times a day.
Risk factors of obstructive sleep apnea
Certain factors can increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. The risk factors of obstructive sleep apnea are as follows:
- Being significantly overweight:
People with obesity can be a factor that increases the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Being male:
Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in men when compared to women.
- Being older:
Old age people are more likely to get obstructive sleep apnea.
- Neck circumference:
People with thick necks can lead to obstructive sleep apnea. This is because having a thick neck can narrow their airways.
- A narrow airway:
People with narrow throats, adenoids, and tonsils can also increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Medical conditions:
Medical conditions may include conditions like heart failure, blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions have a high risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
If you have a minor case of sleep apnea, then the doctor might only suggest you change some of your habits. This might include quitting smoking and losing weight if necessary. Further, if you are allergic to nasal, then the doctor might suggest some medicines to relieve the allergy.
If these measures do not help in improving the symptoms of sleep apnea then the doctor might use different methods to relieve the symptoms and cure sleep apnea. So, the following are the different types of treatment available to treat moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea. They are as follows:
- CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure):
This device helps to deliver air pressure using a special mask while asleep.
- Other airway pressure:
This is another type of device for delivering air pressure. But this device can adjust the pressure automatically. That is why this device is also known as auto-CPAP.
- Oral appliances:
This device is used to keep your throat open while you are sleeping so that your throat does not get narrow. However, using CPAP is more effective and reliable than this oral appliance.