Do you ever feel tired after a full night of sleep or sometimes suddenly wake up in the middle of the night? You maybe suffering from a very serious sleeping condition called sleep apnea. Basically when you are having an episode you actually stop breathing. There is two known types of this disorder, central and obstructive which is the more common one. It feels like you are strangling and stopping breathing several times per night.
In most cases the person will start breathing again on their own, usually the apnea lasts for a few seconds to a few minutes. Some people wake up to a certain extent, but most people do not even realize that they woke up. The end result of all this is a night of sleep with not enough rest.
There is a danger to all this. Imagine someone coming to your bedroom and strangling you throughout the night, it is hard on your heart, your lungs and your body. As a result during the day you are very tired and a lot of times very irritable.
The gold standard as far as a diagnosis is something called a sleep study. It’s pretty simple, basically a study when you do in at night when you would normally be sleeping, they hook you up to some monitors and check to see what happens when you sleep. They check to see if you are trying to breathe, if you are struggling to breathe, if you are snoring and if you are stopping to breathe altogether.
Although most people that have sleep apnea snore, but not all people who snore are suffering from the condition. In adults increased weight puts you at increased risk. A lot of times children will actually be underweight because they are struggling to breathe at night and still growing.
They are two main treatments one involves the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. This is basically like a vacuum cleaner which works in reverse, instead of sucking air in it pushes air out. It is hooked onto the patients nose whilst they are sleeping and it helps to keep the airway open while they are sleeping. That is a very effective treatment option.
Surgery is actually another alternative that works for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. For children the most common reason they have this condition in the first place is because they have enlarged tonsils. So removing tonsils in children is a very effective treatment for them.