Today I’m going to discuss a prevalent yet often undiagnosed problem; sleep apnea. Common symptoms included feeling tired when you wake up, excessive daytime fatigue, can’t remember dreaming. Many times a loved one will report that you quit breathing when you sleep. The main treatment is CPAP, discussed later, for alternatives to CPAP in sleep apnea read on.
Sleep apnea is caused by a closure in the wind pipe tube, the trachea while you sleep. Obesity is felt to be a complicating factor in this condition. This is not to say normal weight people can’t hold their breath while sleeping; it’s just more prevalent in the overweight.
The medical consequences of sleep apnea are serious. The closing of the airway while sleeping causes all sorts of problems. This in turn reduces oxygenation of your blood. All of your organs need oxygen; but the heart is the most susceptible in sleep apnea patients. The effects are heart rhythm problems, arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden death. So you can see why it is important to treat sleep apnea. Some of you may remember Reggie White, he use to play football for the Green Bay Packers. His untimely cause of death was sleep apnea.
So let’s get back to why I’m writing about this malady. The most common treatment recommended is weight loss. The best way to accomplish this is to learn how to burn fat and lose the weight permanently. A discussion on the best way to lose weight is beyond the scope of this article. CPAP,(continuous positive airway pressure), is often recommended. CPAP is considered the gold Standard treatment. This is delivered via a mask or nasal pillows. Many people have a difficult time getting use to this method and compliance is an issue. Rarely surgery is recommended. This is because it usually requires breaking the jaw and is quite an extensive surgery. Surgery is not guaranteed to work so you can see why it is hardly used.
Alternative treatments vary but weight loss is the main effective method. Some people respond to dental appliances that keep their airway open; and other may respond to minor surgical procedures. An example would be taking out the tonsils, adenoids and uvula. The uvula is the little teardrop tissue that hangs down from the top of the palate. There are several other methods that may or may not work for different people as well. Please see the link below for more information and good luck controlling your sleep apnea; and remember your health and life could depend on it.