Could You Have Sleep Apnea?

By: J.Morgan

Sleep apnea is not just a serious sleep disorder, it may also become deadly. The person who suffers from this disorder will stop breathing several times a night which then leads to a carbon dioxide buildup. In order for this build up to be released and oxygen replenished, the brain must signal the body to awaken. This chain of events does not allow for quality of sleep and may lead to heart disease, irritability, mental confusion, and dozing off during the day and even while sitting at the computer or other places not originally intended for sleeping.

Lack of quality sleep is a silent problem for most, because ninety percent of those who have sleep apnea do not know they do. Snoring may be another symptom which is bothersome to bed partners. Although some who have the disorder do snore and loudly, there are those who do not, so snoring is not a sole indicator.

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are, waking during the night gasping for breath, perspiring, choking, and bursts of wakefulness several times per night. Risk factors are obesity, fibromyalgia, using sedatives or muscle relaxants, smoking, and alcohol. Other symptoms that may present themselves are, leg swelling, headaches, especially upon awakening, high blood pressure and lethargy. One symptom noted mainly in children is hyperactivity.

There is one way to treat sleep apnea immediately and that is to keep airways open and clear. It is wise to keep a journal of any symptoms, then allow a physician to take a complete medical history. Mechanical mouth devices are available to help with pulling the jaw forward and only need to be worn during sleep. Other options may be surgery to remove tonsils or adenoids which may bring relief.

If sleep apnea is suspected, there are options available. Nobody should have to suffer needlessly when it is so easy to treat once properly diagnosed. Curing this disorder may be as simple as losing a few pounds or quitting smoking. If it is allowed to go untreated, it may lead to heart arrhythmia, hypertension, stroke and heart disease. Don't let this happen to you. Seek treatment as soon as possible.

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