It’s easy to immediately think of insomnia when one hears of the term sleep disorder. A lot of people may not know though that sleep apnea is also an equally distressing sleep disorder. The best way to secure oneself from the threat of apnea is to recognize a sleep apnea symptom.
Dangers of Sleep Apnea
It is important to recognize sleep apnea because it can become a life-threatening condition. Aside from exhausting the body and retarding your functions, sleep apnea could lead to more serious conditions such as stroke, heart disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease to name just a few.
There are three types of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is when the brain fails to signal breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea is when the muscles in the air passage collapses or becomes blocked by tissues that prevent air from getting through. The third type is a mix of the two major apnea types. Although they may have their differences, they may share a similar sleep apnea symptom or two.
Sleep apnea may be manifested by snoring. This sleep apnea symptom may begin immediately after falling asleep and can grow louder as sleep progresses. It has since been discovered though that sleep apnea may still occur even without this common sleep apnea symptom. It is also possible that one may be a loud snorer without necessarily having an apnea condition.
The cessation of breathing is therefore, one of the determining factor of sleep apnea symptom. Aside from this obvious sleep apnea symptom, an individual could also gasp and choke while asleep and may eventually wake up dazed and confused. Daytime sleepiness is an insomnia symptom that may also point to a sleep apnea condition.
Another way to recognize symptoms of the condition is to look at the conditions caused by apnea itself. A person suffering from this condition could end up being depressed because apnea causes either light sleep or wakefulness that in turn causes tiredness and irritability.
Importance of an Observer
Often times, a person with a sleep apnea symptom doesn’t know that he has it himself. After all, a sleeping person cannot know what goes on during sleep. The responsibility of first noticing an apnea condition therefore falls on the shoulders of housemates or bed mates. Once a symptom like cessation of breathing becomes obvious a person who is believed to have apnea should be brought to a specialist for proper diagnosis. Housemates should also take note of personality changes brought about by disturbed sleep.
It is believed that surgery may only be 50% successful in treating sleep apnea. It may help though for people who have the condition clearly because of enlarged tissues or tonsils. Surgery is generally a last resort treatment for people with apnea. Other medical procedures and treatments are first attempted before surgery is considered. What is important is to seek for expert advice instead of attempting to solve the condition on your own.