Snoring and Sleep Apnea treatments

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a completely manageable condition that affects the way you breathe when sleeping. If left untreated, breathing can become interrupted while sleeping or become very shallow. This can cause the individual to stay awake and can make it difficult to get a full night’s sleep. Typically, individuals with sleep apnea may not breathe for 1 to 20 seconds at a time and this causes their sleep to become interrupted. This causes a number of different symptoms including:

  • Sleepiness
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Increased risk of accidents
  • Heart attacks

Types of Sleep Apnea

If you are suffering from sleep apnea the first thing that you need to do is familiarize yourself with the problem. There are a number of different types of sleep apnea that range in severity and may be treated in different ways. The initial steps of treating sleep apnea require that the type be identified so that the proper treatment can be applied.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Obstructive is the most common type of sleep apnea. It is caused by tissue in the back of the throat relaxing when the individual sleeps and blocking air from traveling through the airway. This causes individuals to snore loudly and gasp for air.
  • Central Sleep Apnea. Less common than obstructive sleep apnea, Central Sleep Apnea is caused by the central nervous system. The brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing, causing the individual to go long periods without breathing while sleeping. These individuals rarely snore.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea.

Treatments

There are a number of treatments that can be applied to help improve nightly sleep and overall health. Depending on the type of sleep apnea that an individual has, different treatment paths may be considered. With complex or central sleep apnea, treatment starts with treating the underlying condition. Sometimes, using oxygen masks while sleeping can improve the oxygen intake and help to facilitate better sleep.