Many people think that loud snoring indicates sleep apnea but this isn't always the case. Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, but not in every instance. If you suspect you may be suffering from sleep apnea and you have a sleeping partner, they can help you to diagnose the problem.
Have your partner record the number of times there is an interruption in your breathing during the night. You'll either stop breathing entirely or you'll make choking, gasping or snorting sounds in an attempt to catch your breath. Or alternatively, you can record yourself sleeping.
Sleep apnea is most common in men over 40 years old who are overweight. If you meet these conditions and experience the symptoms of sleep apnea, your doctor will likely suspect that is in fact the cause. They can check for obstructions in your nose and throat and if that is inconclusive, they will likely send you to a sleep clinic. You will spend a night in this clinic, where your sleep will be closely monitored.
The most common form of treatment for sleep apnea is known as CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This is a machine that is attached to a mask that fits over your nose and mouth. While you sleep, it provides a continuous supply of pressurized air to help keep your airways open.
For more severe cases, there are surgical procedures that can remove tissue from the throat, mouth and/or nose to help clear the airways. In some cases, jaw reconstruction may even be necessary to realign your air passages.
There are some self-treatment options that can help as well. One of the most effective is to lose weight. This will help to minimize the excess tissue in the throat that can lead to blockage of the airways.
Avoiding smoking and alcohol can also have a positive effect on sleep apnea, as well as sedatives. These can all lead to blocked airways, which in turn can aggravate sleep apnea.
Each of these treatments has its pros and cons - you should always consult with your doctor before undertaking any type of treatment program. They will be able to fully diagnose your particular situation and determine the best choice for you. Just make sure you do something because sleep apnea will not disappear by itself.
Did you know that children can suffer from sleep apnea as well as adults? Learn more about sleep apnea in children on the Apnea Guide website. For more helpful tips and advice, visit http://www.apneaguide.com