Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a very serious disorder that requires immediate attention. This is where the person who snores will actually stop breathing and miss one or two breaths in their regular breathing cycle several times an hour. This is very serious because it plays havoc on your blood oxygen levels and the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain. Because of this many people who suffer from OSA are at higher risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. Sleep apnea can also contribute to high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. In addition to those, it can also contribute to diabetes and obesity. Who would have thought that snoring could end up being a very serious ...view middle of the document...
It has been well documented that almost 5% of all women suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea and almost 10% of all adult men. During these nightly episodes, people who suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea are actually struggling for air as if they are being smothered. Video studies show that during the periods of time that they are not breathing their mouths and chests are still making exaggerated movements in order to try and get air.
A person suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea can have these episodes very often throughout the night. Doctors have even created a scale in order to rate the severity. A person who has less than 15 episodes in an hour is considered to have a mild form of OSA. Someone who has between 15 to 30 episodes an hour has a medium severity of the disease and anything over 30 is considered a very severe case.
Another obvious symptom that can tip you off that someone is suffering from a form of Obstructive Sleep Apnea is if they need to take frequent naps throughout the day or if they seem to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Later in the report you will be able to complete a questionnaire that will evaluate if you are suffering from sleep deprivation. You can suffer from sleep deprivation because you snore or have a form of sleep apnea and also if you live or sleep with someone who snores.
Many times, surgery is attempted in order to clear the airway of enlarged or swollen tissue so that a person can breathe easier throughout the night. These surgeries are becoming less recommended because of the amount of scarring that it leaves. Many times, the patient is left worse off than before.
Many doctors recommend trying some home remedies first such as losing weight, stopping smoking and sleeping on your side and somewhat elevated instead of on your back. For people suffering with a severe case of sleep apnea your doctor can prescribe a machine that includes a mask that fits over your nose and or your mouth and forces a stream of air that keeps your airway open. This isn’t the most comfortable way to sleep, but as a last resort it is one that you can become accustomed to and one that will allow you to finally get a good night’s sleep.
Another device that can be worn is a splint similar to a mouth guard that is worn during sports. This guard forces the jaw forward just enough to keep your tongue from falling back and blocking your throat. This option is used for people who suffer from mild to medium cases of sleep apnea.
Drugs are also being tested that would help and some have already reached the market with FDA approval. However, the side effects such as weight gain and grogginess are so pronounced that many doctors do not recommend them.
Another treatment to help with sleep apnea is regular breathing exercises or practicing yoga and meditation. These can help in strengthening and toning the muscles and tissues around your mouth, neck, and throat.
Chapter 5 - Hundreds of Anti-Snoring Aids; Do Any of Them Work?