The common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, breathing pauses, and disturbances. Sleep apnea affects roughly half of all adults in the United States. About 40 million people in the country to experience moderate to severe sleep apnea on a regular basis.
Sleeping disorders are common, especially for those who spend extended periods of time at work. The reasons why they suffer from sleep apnea range from high blood pressure to high cholesterol levels.
Sleep apnea is diagnosed by a sleep laboratory. The patient is kept overnight at the sleep lab so that a diagnosis can be made. The major method used to diagnose apnea is through a test called polysomnography. The patient is exposed to the polygraph, which is designed to detect when he or she stops breathing during sleep.
There are different methods that the doctor will use to determine the cause of the condition. Most of the tests are performed on an outpatient basis. The doctor may order more tests if the case worsens.
One common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. In this type, the person does not get enough air during sleep. This causes the tongue to fall backward into the throat. If the person stops breathing and snores, then the sleep apnea is diagnosed.
Another type of sleep apnea is called ‘noisy sleep apnea’. When the patient stops breathing for a period of time during sleep, there is a disruption in the body’s normal rhythms. This is known as an abnormal pattern of snoring.
There are several types of treatments for sleep apnea. One type of treatment involves using medications to force the airway opening. Many times this is done through an oral device, which is like a pillow or mouthpiece that has an airway opening built into it.
Another method of treatment involves talking to the patient about the problem. The doctor may also perform a special kind of surgery. This surgery involves the removal of a portion of the soft palate to force the tongue to fall back into the throat.
A surgery called polysomnography is done to help a patient who has sleep apnea. During the procedure, the doctor inserts a monitor into the throat and into the nasal passage. This instrument checks for the presence of air bubbles caused by gas bubbles being trapped in the throat.
After the sleep apnea treatment, the patient may have to wear a mouthpiece for the rest of his or her life. If a person still snores, the doctor may change his or her diet or recommend a change in their sleeping position. Sometimes the doctor may prescribe medications to help the person sleep.
If a person is suffering from sleep apnea, he or she should go to the doctor to see if there is a medical reason for the condition. A doctor may also recommend the patient to start taking diet pills.