What is sleep apnea?
Many people are unsure about what sleep apnea actually is. It’s a disorder in which a person’s breathing stop and starts, with pauses lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes, often characterized with shallow breaths and fatigue during the day.
This is often confused with people who are snorers, but sleep apnea is more serious and can really affect how a person functions in the daytime by preventing a good night’s sleep.
While people with sleep apnea do snore loudly and it is considered one of the symptoms, snoring does not necessarily mean a person has the disorder. Recognizing the difference between the two allows for proper solutions to these issues.
Obstructive sleep apnea
The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) states that obstructive sleep apnea can be made worse by “obesity, large tongue and tonsils, aging, and head and neck shape.”
If you have this disorder or are living with someone who has it, the symptoms might be annoying and make both of you feel cranky the next day. It is important to get this diagnosed early so that a sleep study can be done and proper treatment can begin.
What are the treatments for sleep apnea?
If snoring is the only issue, nasal strips, minor surgery and weight loss can help to solve the problem. But for sleep apnea, two main treatments are available: CPAP and EPAP.
The ASAA describes CPAP as “a blower connected by a tube to a mask that fits over the mouth or nose, blowing air so that a continuous pressure in the airway is maintained.”
While it is successful in helping to calm the symptoms, many people find this treatment uncomfortable. Luckily, the EPAP exists, and it has proven to be more comfortable and very effective.
It is comprised of a non-invasive nasal device that uses a MicroValve design that attaches over the nostrils and is secured in place with hypoallergenic adhesive (ASAA).
It is also disposable and much easier to use than the CPAP. Having multiple treatment options available allows more people to be helped to get a better night’s sleep.
Dealing with sleep apnea
It is important to do your research if you think you or someone you know is a snorer or has sleep apnea. One is more of an annoyance while another can have more serious effects.
Your doctor can refer you to a sleep specialist if you are experiencing bothersome symptoms. Getting diagnosed as soon as possible will create a better sleeping situation once treatment begins.
Like any other disorder, sleep apnea deserves proper care in order to reach the best ultimate health. A good night’s sleep is the key to a good tomorrow, so remember to get plenty of it!
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