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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Could Be Hurting More Than Just Your REM Cycle

obstructive sleep apnea causes loud snoring and you may stop breathing several times throughout the night

Your loved ones are scared. They’re saying that you stop breathing at night. For many people, this could sound like you’re snoring, then it catches in your throat before you go silent for a minute or two. Maybe you’re more tired during the day than you used to be. Or you could just be acting moodier and your memory might not be as sharp. Numerous symptoms can signal that you may have obstructive sleep apnea. You might not notice them yourself, but if someone living in your home notices something is off, you should talk to your primary care provider about getting a home sleep apnea test to determine if you need treatment. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) happens when your throat muscles relax so much that soft tissues block your airway. This could actually cause you to stop breathing several times while you sleep. 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms

We’ve already gone over some things you may be experiencing, but there are quite a few symptoms that you should look out for. Some common symptoms include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Dry throat when you wake up
  • Suddenly waking up gasping
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares

Any of these things could be a symptom of another condition or a one-time experience. However, if you start having some combination of these issues and they become chronic, talk to your doctor about it. 

Home Sleep Study

A home sleep test is a diagnostic tool to determine if a patient has obstructive sleep apnea. Most patients prefer this over a lab sleep study because it’s more affordable and comfortable since it can be done in your own bed. 

All you have to do is follow your doctor’s instructions to set up the equipment, and it’ll transmit measurements to your PCP for them to review. Once the test concludes, your doctor will be able to confirm or dismiss the sleep apnea diagnosis. If it’s inconclusive, MD365® Shirley may require you to try again. A home sleep study can track your blood oxygen levels and can also track other activities like snoring, chest movement, nasal pressure, and more. This makes it a highly accurate diagnostic tool. 

Sleep Apnea Treatment

One of the most common sleep apnea treatments is a CPAP machine. This is a reliable treatment method, and it works by pushing a steady stream of air into your lungs to keep your airway open. This treatment can even help you stop snoring which is a huge benefit since sleep apnea sufferers tend to snore loudly. The sound can be so obtrusive that they can even wake up others in the house. 

The BiPAP machine (bi-level positive airway pressure) is similar to a CPAP but it only emits pressure while the patient is inhaling. This helps people who find it difficult to exhale with constant airflow. 

The ASV (adapto servo-ventilation machine) is even more dialed back than the BiPAP. This sleep apnea treatment adjusts airflow based on the user’s breathing pattern.

If you don’t think you could adjust to wearing a mask to sleep every night, there are a few other options available. Sometimes sleep apnea is caused by jaw misalignment, in which case oral appliances could readjust it or hold your tongue down. 

The other treatment options revolve around treating the cause of your sleep apnea. Excess weight or a thick neck could contribute to this condition so prioritizing weight loss through exercise and diet changes could alleviate some of your symptoms. It can be especially helpful to cut out alcohol. Nasal decongestants have been known to help as well, but in some cases, you may even need surgery to treat the problem. Consult with your MD365® doctor to determine the right care plan for your lifestyle.

Sleep Apnea Doctor Near Me

If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, contact your primary care provider at MD365® in Shirley, NY. Aside from our reliable diagnostics, we offer connected care services that can help manage your symptoms and any condition we discover. These services include remote monitoring and optimal, ongoing healthcare. 

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