Diagnosing Apnea Sleep Disorders
With all medical conditions, the sooner you are diagnosed the better. As soon as you know what the problem is, the earlier you can start treating it and it is common knowledge that the earlier you begin treatment the higher your chances of solving or at least improving the medical condition.
Sleep apnea is not different in this respect than other types of conditions. There are a lot of different reasons people do not get diagnosed with medical conditions for a while. With apnea sleep disorders the reason is that the problem can best be detected during sleep. Another problem is that some of the symptoms are common to other disorders or are even normal in healthy individuals.
Many of us occasionally break off our breathing while we sleep. When this occurs frequently and causes other problems it is known as sleep apnea. Clinically it must happen five times in an hour to fall under this definition. Mild sleep apnea can occur on occasion if you have a respiratory illness.
One of the most common causes is low muscle tone in the airway. This is a common problem for those who are obese, and can be linked with a large neck circumference. It is more common in men than women or children, and also occurs more frequently among the elderly. Smokers are also at a higher risk to develop sleep apnea.
Some symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, sleeping restlessly and being tired during the day. This can all lead to other problems such as inability to concentrate, being underproductive as well as causing a disruption in social and private life.
Some of the dangers of sleep apnea alone should be enough to have you working toward getting a positive diagnosis. If the symptoms alone are not enough to make you want to treat it, consider some of the health problems it can cause.
For those with sleep apnea there is a thirty percent increase in the chances of them suffering a heart attack or premature death. This is quite grim, but as soon as you are diagnosed with sleep apnea you can get started treating it.
There are many different treatments. The most common of these is a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure. This is a machine that creates air pressure that does not allow breathing structures to collapse while you sleep, causing you to stop breathing. Some other treatments include exercising the muscles or even surgery to tighten the muscles.
If you or someone you know has symptoms of sleep apnea, see your doctor. You can rule out other problems and if your doctor thinks it is necessary you can take an overnight polysomnogram test to diagnose it.
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