Many people used to just dispose sleep apnea as someone that snored loudly. But this can be an annoying condition both for the sufferer and their families. Recent studies have shown that it can potentially potentially life threatening consequences. Here we will take a look at the symptoms and treatments for the condition.

Sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops breathing temporarily during their sleep. There are 2 main types of the condition. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is where there is a physical obstruction to breathing, such as collapsed upper airways. The second type is central sleep apnea where the respiratory center in the brain does not send the correct signals to the body to keep breathing when sleeping. The length of time that a person stops breathing can be 10 seconds or more. This may occur multiple times in a single night with severe sufferers having up to a hundred episodes per night.

One of the most common symptoms of OSA is that the patient snores. But this is not the case with all sufferers. When the patient begins breathing again it may with a snort or a grunt. This is one of the symptoms that spouses of sufferers find is hardest to deal with. It is quite common for the partners and other family members to be kept up at night while the snorer sleeps on.

Other sleep apnea symptoms include tiredness / drowsiness during the day and a general loss of cognitive function. This may include forgetfulness or just not being able to concentrate on a task. An increase in irritability is also a common side effect of the condition.

Sufferers of this are at an increased risk of stroke and heart conditions. This is because sleep apnea causes a rise in blood pressure.

The main treatment for OSA is continuous positive air pressure (CPAP). These are small devices that are worn at night that prevent the airways from collapsing. They consist of a mask that fits over the nose and this is connected to a blower. This creates a positive pressure that keeps the airway open. Studies have found these devices to be 95% effective. Many advances in their design have been made in recent years and they are now smaller and more quiet than ever.

Another treatment option is surgery. This can help by removing soft tissues around the airways that can lead to obstruction. Surgery to move the jaw forward may also be appropriate in some cases.

Think you may have the condition after reading these sleep apnea symptoms and treatments? The first thing you should do is consult your doctor. He / she will then be able to arrange for the proper diagnostic tests to be carried out and then recommend treatment, if necessary.

Source by Paul Elms