Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when your breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. This can happen when the muscles in the back of your throat relax and block your airway. Sleep apnea can cause a number of problems, including:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood changes
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can vary from person to person. Some people may have no symptoms at all, while others may experience severe symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping or choking during sleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Falling asleep during the day
If you think you may have sleep apnea, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for sleep apnea can help improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of complications.
Here are some of the risk factors for sleep apnea:
- Family history
- Alcohol use
- Nasal congestion
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- Certain medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
If you have any of the risk factors for sleep apnea, it is important to talk to your doctor about your sleep habits. Your doctor may recommend a sleep study to diagnose sleep apnea. A sleep study is a test that records your breathing and other body functions during sleep.
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, there are a number of treatment options available. Treatment for sleep apnea can help improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of complications.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). CPAP is a machine that delivers pressurized air through a mask that you wear over your nose and mouth. CPAP helps to keep your airway open during sleep.
Other treatment options for sleep apnea include:
- Oral appliances
If you have sleep apnea, it is important to get treatment. Treatment can help improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of complications.