Ever heard of the term Sleep Apnea? If not, you should learn about it certainly. It is a serious sleep disorder where the breathing of a person stops temporarily. That awakens the person sleeping.
The classic symptoms of sleep apnea are snoring loudly and feeling tired after an entire night’s sleep. If you suffer from either or both, get yourself examined for Sleep Apnea because you may not be sleeping well throughout the night. The main types of sleep apnea are:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea – This occurs when the throat muscles relax.
Central Sleep Apnea – This occurs when the brain does not send proper reflexes that control breathing.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome – People who have both of the above disorders develop a complex sleep disorder requiring treatment urgently.
The most common symptoms of Sleep Apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Breathing stops during sleep
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Dry mouth
- Feeling sleepy during day time (Hypersomnia)
- Difficulty staying asleep (Insomnia)
- Not attentive while awake
Any of the above symptoms should lead you to a thorough checkup to determine whether you have Sleep Apnea.
Sleep Apnea can lead to life-threatening problems like High Blood Pressure, Diabetes or Heart Problems and many other ailments like problems with Liver, etc. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and treatments like using a CPAP machine can ease your sleeping woes and help avert health complications.
Lifestyle Adaptations to Correct Sleep Apnea
Many risk factors increase the chances of developing sleep apnea in people, particularly age. Growing older impacts your breathing capabilities. Sleep apnea is reported more in older adults. If you doubt having sleep apnea, definitely go see the doctor.
Lifestyle adaptation to do away from potentially threatening conditions might reduce or curb sleep apnea from occurring in the first place.
- Lose Weight – Obesity and excessive body weight increase the risk of sleep apnea. Fat deposits can obstruct breathing especially when accumulating around the upper airway tract. So, the first and foremost thing to do is exercise regularly. Double chinned people with thicker necks have a reason to worry about. The more the circumference of your neck, the more it gets difficult to breathe. Exercise will help you stay in shape and thus reduce the occurrence of sleep apnea.
- Clear chest and nasal passage congestion – Tonsils or Adenoids can also enlarge the airways or block them, especially in children. A narrowed throat can also be inherited. Whatever the case, a narrowed airway makes it difficult to breathe more so at night, resulting in sleep apnea. Treating a sore throat or congestion in the chest is thus a must. Try natural remedies to do away with a narrowed airway.
- Avoid Smoking – Smokers are three times more prone to sleep apnea as smoking increases the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. Quit smoking and lead a healthy life to avoid sleep apnea.
- Limit Use of Alcohol or Sedatives – People who prefer alcohol or sedatives have increased chances of developing sleep apnea. These substances relax muscles in your throat which can worsen your condition. A healthy life can be led without hard drinks. If you eat and exercise better, you will automatically sleep better and be relaxed and can easily do away with alcohol or sedatives.
A doctor will give you a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Machine to deal with Sleep Apnea woes as part of the treatment plan. If you are concerned as to why there were no pills given and only a machine recommended, then here are the answers to all your concerns and any questions that might arise in your mind.
What is a CPAP Machine?
The machine helps people affected with sleep apnea breathe easily at night while they are asleep. A CPAP machine increases the air pressure in your throat so that your airway does not collapse while you inhale. This machine also helps decrease snoring.
However, you may find it difficult to get used to the CPAP machine. So, you should first, try wearing the CPAP mask for short periods of time, while you are awake. Once you get used to how that feels, you should start using it whenever you sleep, which includes naptime as well.
You need to stick with it for several weeks or more to see if your mask and pressure are right for you.
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A CPAP machine uses a hose and mask or nosepiece to deliver constant and steady air pressure.
A CPAP machine works as a humidifier, with a filter and a small tank of water attached to it. The tube connects the mask to the filter and tank. The mask essentially covers your mouth and nose but the advanced designs include options that cover only the nose also called NCPAP or Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. Most doctors recommend an overnight sleep study to understand which CPAP machine is required for your problem.
Benefits of a CPAP machine
CPAP machine is the most recommended and most effective, non-surgical treatment for sleep apnea. There are various benefits of this machine.
- It is a non-surgical treatment which means a patient does not have to undergo a knife procedure.
- With regular use, it helps lower blood pressure and reduces heart problems.
- It also lowers the risk of a stroke or a heart attack in patients.
- There are no major side effects as such except that getting used to a mask during bedtime might take some time.
How to deal with common problems while using a CPAP machine
Common problems with CPAP include a leaky mask, trouble falling asleep, stuffy nose and a dry mouth. If your mask leaks it is a serious concern and you are not getting the air as you should be. You should work closely with your doctor and the CPAP supplier to make sure you have a CPAP mask that fits properly. Everyone has different face shapes, so the right style and size mask for someone else may not work for you. The good news is that if one CPAP mask or device doesn’t work for you, you have other options. And most CPAP masks are adjustable, to help make them more comfortable for you.
Treating Sleep Apnea is a must as the condition can lead to serious complications otherwise. Do visit a doctor to understand about sleep apnea and get a treatment plan recommended for sure.
At PrimedeQ, we have a wide range of new and used CPAP machines.