You may have already heard about how a certain condition causes some people to stop breathing while sleeping. However, although many are aware that this disease exists, most aren’t really clued in to its causes, symptoms and treatment.
Here are five facts that can help you understand it better.
1) The ailment is due to throat/neck tissues
The reason you may have trouble drawing breath while nodding off is because your throat is too relaxed. For some individuals, their neck and throat soft tissues can relax and drop, causing the air passage to narrow or even close temporarily.
2) Many of those who suffer aren’t even aware of it
Eighty percent of those who suffer from this condition don’t even know it. The brain wakes us up if we stop breathing, but often only enough to resume respiration. This means sometimes we do wake up, but aren’t sure why we’re no longer asleep. Other times, we don’t even register waking to begin with.
3) There are a few things to watch for
If you have someone who sleeps in the same room/bed with you, they may know if you’re struggling during slumber because many patients actually sound like they’re choking or gasping. Although the sound may not rouse you, it may alert another person in the room there is an issue.
Other signs could include a constant feeling of exhaustion, even if you know you are sleeping through the night, feeling depressed or having headaches. Oftentimes people who snore regularly suffer from this condition too.
4) Whether or not you’re predisposed depends on several health factors
Certain health problems often go hand in hand with a sleep apnea diagnosis. If you have heart disease or other cardiac issues, obesity, type 2 diabetes, endocrine or high blood pressure disorders, a genetic predisposition to the condition or are a regular drinker/smoker, any of these factors could contribute.
5) There are tests and treatments for sufferers
You can find out if this information applies to you by doing a sleep test, either at home or in a lab environment. If you are found to have the malady, treatment is available.
Some options for treatment include wearing devices while slumbering, undergoing surgery or simply trying to lose some weight, as this often affects the condition positively.
Search the web for helpful resources like WakeUpToSleep.com and other websites that can help you learn which treatment options are best for your needs.