What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can prove fatal if left untreated. People suffering from this condition often fall asleep quite normally, however once asleep they start to experience short interruptions of breath. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form and is caused by the muscles in the throat becoming too relaxed and collapsing back down into the airways.
To survive, the body sends a signal to the brain that breathing has stopped, and this makes the sufferer wake up and either choke or gasp for air. Sleep apnea usually last for about 10 seconds, but can occur up to 50 times an hour. The person suffering from this sleep disorder is often unaware of it and cannot understand why they feel so tired during the day.
The most common cause of the sleep apnea is obesity as this creates dense tissue in the neck and throat. During sleep, the sufferer turns onto their back and muscles such as the tonsils and uvula flop down into the airways causing a partial or total blockage. This creates a loud snoring noise and sudden cessation of breath.
It’s believed that sleep apnea affects between 18 – 20% of adults in the United States, and is more common in men. Some people have naturally large adenoids, tonsils or uvula, and this can make this sleep disorder more likely. One method to cure this complaint is to undergo laser surgery. This treatment involves burning away excess tissue and is done under a local anesthetic. It can be painful afterward and in some cases the tissue can grow back again.
What Are the Symptoms?
A person with this condition falls asleep normally but then his airway becomes blocked making breathing difficult for a few seconds. This happens when the muscle in the throat relaxes too much and collapses into the airway and thereby blocking breathing temporarily. The body then will signal the brain that something is wrong causing the person to wake up so they can breathe again, normally.
This cycle can repeat itself several times a night, as much as fifty times in just one hour and will last a few seconds or longer each time. Sufferers are often unaware of what they go through and do not know why they are always so tired. That answers the question – but not what is sleep apnea symptom because often there are no physical symptoms.
How to cure sleep apnea?
The use of a CPAP machine is an effective solution for sleep apnea. This involves the use of a face mask through which air is passed from a small portable machine. This can be uncomfortable to wear but does stop sleep apnea very effectively.
There are dental devices available to treat this condition in mild to moderate cases. The most commonly used are the mandibular device which is attached to the upper jaw, pulling the lower jaw and tongue forward. This keeps the airway open and thus stops it from occurring.
The disadvantage of any device is that it could make sleeping uncomfortable and although it may stop it, this treatment could make falling asleep more difficult. If obesity is the cause of your sleep apnea, then it’s strongly advisable to start losing weight as soon as possible. You could join a local slimming group for support and visit your doctor for advice on diet.
Another form of treatment involves being fitted with dental devices for some mild forms of sleep apnea. The two types are mandibular or lower jaw, which attaches to the upper jaw, pulling the lower jaw and base of the tongue forward to keep the airway open. The second type is advancing device or tongue retaining device, which helps keep the airway open. Mandibular devices are used most often.
Medications don’t work in most cases for sleep apnea treatment. However, most people take antidepressants and modafinil to combat the side effects of sleep apnea syndrome.
Oxygen is used in conjunction with the PAP machines as oxygen alone is not adequate. Oxygen can keep the blood oxygen at adequate levels but cannot prevent the airways from collapsing or do much about sleep fragmentation. In more serious cases, surgery might be the only option.
The Provigil pills for sleep apnea are the best available treatment option for this disorder. Belonging to the family of the Modafinil range of drugs, the Provigil smart drug is an alertness enhancing medicine that is designed to help improve concentration and also to increase the memory power and fight fatigue caused by sleep apnea. It is also used in the treatment of narcolepsy and other such kinds of diseases. Many case studies show that the drug is most popular amongst students and office goers. The former lot needs to improve concentration levels to be able to put in an effective number of study hours. The latter group of users usually involves those who are looking to sort out their disrupted sleep cycles, a result of working varying shifts.
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