Is there anything worse than not being able to sleep in peace? It’s bad enough when the kids next door decide it’s time to play, but when a restless night is caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it can be frustrating. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects more than 18 million people in the US alone and is most common among overweight individuals over 45 years old. But what exactly is obstructive sleep apnea and how can it be treated?
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where abnormal pauses in breathing occur during sleep. In these moments, the muscles relax causing the airways to get blocked, preventing the patient from taking his or her next breath. When this happens multiple times throughout the night, it can cause serious fatigue during the day. Because of this condition, the patient may experience headaches, decreased alertness and a decline in overall health. You may also wish to know that sleep apnea is responsible for over 100 motor vehicle accidents each year.
How is OSA Treated?
There are several methods of treatment for those who suffer from sleep apnea, it all depends on the severity of the condition. When the patient is a child, doctors may prescribe a nasal strip to prevent airway obstruction or use of best cpap machines reviewed. However, if this doesn’t work they will suggest surgery to widen the airways and/or insert breathing tubes. Those who need more extreme treatment would benefit from one of the machines or masks we will discuss later in this article. Those individuals who snore occasionally but do not have any other symptoms do not suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and can be treated with simple lifestyle changes alone.