Signs of Sleep Apnea in Adults
Sleep apnea is an alarming sleep disorder that occurs when your breathing is frequently disrupted during your sleep. If left untreated, it can lead to type-2 diabetes and heart ailments as well as increase your chances of stroke and heart attack. Sleep apnea affects individuals of every age group, although some of the symptoms may vary according to the age. Here is some vital information about the signs of sleep apnea in adults and how to treat them.
What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea in Adults?
The primary symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, lethargy, and daytime sleepiness. It’s also important to note that being obese, drinking alcohol, or smoking places you at potential risk of sleep apnea. Other signs of sleep apnea in adults may include one or many of the following:
- Snoring loudly
- Frequent paused breathing during sleep
- Waking up with choking, gasping, or smothering
- Waking up for frequent urination
- Waking up with throat irritation or dry mouth
- Waking up with a headache
- Getting trouble sleeping (insomnia) and staying asleep
- Experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness
- Enduring low energy, lack of concentration, or memory problems
- Getting easily irritable and experiencing mood swings.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea treatment is provided by a sleep medicine specialist whose aim is to keep the patient’s airway open during sleep. Effective treatment will not only remove the signs of sleep apnea in adults but will also reduce its health consequences. However, the challenge for both the doctor and the patient lies in choosing the most suitable therapy that can provide long-term success. Here are some standard treatment options for adults with sleep apnea:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
The most effective sleep apnea treatment is the CPAP which uses air pressure from mechanical equipment to keep the patients’ upper airway open when they are sleeping. While the procedure may appear awkward, noisy, or bulky at first, a lot of people accept the treatment, after experiencing improved sleep.
A dental device, also known as an oral appliance is similar to a mouth guard, which is considered useful in relieving upper airway obstruction in many people. It helps to reposition the jaw, tongue, and soft palate and is an excellent treatment to reduce snoring.
Surgical care is an alternative remedy for patients who cannot endure or do not recover with nonsurgical care like CPAP or oral devices. Surgical treatment is also performed in combination with other nonsurgical therapies.
Lifestyle Changes to Treat Sleep Apnea in Adults
It’s possible to treat mild cases of sleep apnea through some lifestyle changes like:
- Losing weight with dietary change and exercise to improve the symptoms
- Avoiding alcohol and sedatives to reduce the risk of a blocked airway
- Changing sleep positions to improve breathing
- Avoid smoking to prevent swelling of the upper airway
- Avoid sleeping on your back to improve the quality of sleep