Posted on: 13 May 2016Share
Breathing problems can be extremely disruptive to a person's life, but there are some individuals that assume that these problems only happen when a person is awake and physically active. However, sleep apnea can be a particularly common breathing problem that can have potentially serious consequences. For patients that are relatively unfamiliar with this condition, it may be beneficial to learn the following common questions and answers about this condition.
What Exactly Is Sleep Apnea And Why Is It Bad?
Sleep apnea is when a person repeatedly stops breathing for several seconds while they are asleep. This problem often occurs throughout the night, and it can be extremely disruptive to a person's sleep cycle. This may not seem like a particularly serious problem, but this condition can place a tremendous amount of strain on the heart. If left untreated, this condition can make a person more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
How Would You Know If You Have Sleep Apnea?
Due to the fact that this problem strikes when a patient is sleeping, it may be difficult for individuals to notice the warning signs of this condition. However, if your partner has noticed you stopping breathing during the night or snoring extremely loudly, you may want to seek treatment so that a doctor can formally diagnose this condition.
In order to determine whether you have sleep apnea, it may be necessary for you to sleep in a monitored environment. By checking your breathing patterns while you sleep, it is possible for your doctor to accurately determine whether or not you are suffering from this disorder.
What Treatments Are Available To Treat This Condition?
If you think that you might be suffering from sleep apnea, you should be relieved to learn that there are a number of treatments that can be utilized to address this problem. Depending on the severity of the problem and the root cause, it may be possible for you to use a specially fitted mouthpiece to stop the sleep apnea. These devices work by ensuring that the mouth is aligned in such a way as to keep the airway open. For some patients, excessive weight may contribute to this problem, and in these instances, dieting and regular exercise can help alleviate the problem by reducing the patient's weight.
Additionally, effectively treating this problem may require a patient to undergo surgery. This is often the case when a piece of loose skin is causing the problem. By surgically removing the skin that obstructs the passageway, it may be possible to eliminate this condition. Only your doctor will be able to determine which of these treatments and sleep apnea procedures will be the most effective for your particular condition.