Staying educated; Sleep apnea in adults

Do you snore? Do you wake up feeling tired and worn down? Does sleep no longer make you feel better and you constantly feel like you need to take a nap? Sleep apnea is a condition that impacts lots of people with roughly two hundred thousand new cases being diagnosed every year. Leaving your sleep apnea untreated will cause long term health problems that will not go away on their own. Headaches, restlessness, stress, liver problems, even diabetes and depression can be issues related to suffering from sleep apnea. 

We know the good people of Chattanooga have a lot to deal with and sometimes it feels like you can put things off and hope for the best, but the truth is you owe it to yourself to talk to your doctor and find out if you have sleep apnea so you can work together on a treatment plan that can help you finally get the sleep you have been missing out for all this time. The first part of this examination will be a sleep study that is usually done by having you take home a sleep tracking kit. You’ll wear the kit when you go to sleep and return it to the hospital the next day. The technician there will then look at the data and see if your sleep was broken up by any interruptions in your breathing. It is possible to have hundreds of interruptions in your sleep that could leave your body incapable of being able to rest and recover during sleep. Snoring where your snore stops mid-breath and then starts up again is a big red flag for sleep apnea. Once the doctor has reviewed the results they will determine if you have sleep apnea, and if you do what treatment will be best to fix it. 

When you are looking for sleep apnea treatment Chattanooga has plenty of options. After you have been diagnosed your doctor will likely explain what is causing your sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the soft tissue of your throat collapsing while you are sleeping and can sometimes be treated with weight loss or surgery. Central sleep apnea is a failure of the brain to regulate your breathing during sleep. 

Both these types of sleep apnea can be treated with a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive air pressure. In simple terms it means you will be fitted with a mask (some people prefer a full-face mask, others like a nose only mask) that will force air into your mouth and nose and keep your throat from closing. By keeping your throat open and filled with air your breathing will be regular and stable. Your machine will also give you feedback on how solid the seal of the mask to your face was, how often you took the mask off during the night and how many apnea’s per hour the machine detected. 

Sleep apnea is a serious condition, but it can be treated. If you are having restless nights and poor sleep see a doctor at once and get on the path to a better night’s sleep.