Sleep Apnea: How to Recognize It and What to Do About It

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea: How to Recognize Symptoms & Manage the Disorder

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder, which causes an interruption in normal, healthy breathing during sleep. It is estimated that about 33% of adults in the United States, or over 22 million people, experience some form of sleep apnea. As such, it is important to understand the signs of sleep apnea so it can be recognized and managed properly.

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What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses in the breath are usually 10 seconds or longer and may be accompanied by a snoring sound during the pause. This condition is categorized into three different types: obstructive, central and complex sleep apnea.

The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include: excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, difficulty staying asleep, gasping or choking sensations during sleep, morning headaches, and episodes of wakefulness during sleep. It is important to note that many people with sleep apnea may not be aware that they have the condition.

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Managing Sleep Apnea

Though there is no cure for sleep apnea, there are many treatment options available to help manage the disorder. Treatment can include: lifestyle changes such as losing weight, avoiding sleeping on your back, and avoiding alcohol and sedatives; using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine; or undergoing surgery. Depending on the severity of the disorder, lifestyle changes may be sufficient for managing the condition.

The Impact of Sleep Apnea on Health

Sleep apnea can have serious health consequences if left untreated, including an increased risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and calcium accumulation in the arteries. It is important to recognize any symptoms of sleep apnea, speak with a doctor and seek treatment in order to reduce any potential health risks.

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In conclusion, it is essential to be aware of the symptoms of sleep apnea and its potential effects on health. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, speak with your doctor to learn more about treatment options and to develop a plan to help manage the disorder.

Keywords: Sleep Apnea, Symptoms, CPAP, Lifestyle Changes, Treatment, Recognize, Risk, High Blood Pressure, Heart Attack, Stroke.