Causes And Treatment For Sleep Apnea Syndrome
We have all experienced extreme sleepiness. Whether it was during college when you were pulling an all-nighter or when you had a sleepless newborn to care for, you know what it feels like to miss out on sleep. But what if you think you get enough sleep but still have those sleep deprived symptoms?
If you have restless sleep or are very sleepy during the day there is a chance that you have sleep apnea syndrome. This is when you repeatedly stop breathing for maybe ten seconds at a time throughout the night. Because it happens in the night it can be hard to know that it is happening, but here are some causes of sleep apnea syndrome.
In obstructive sleep apnea something physically blocks the air passage, preventing you from inhaling or exhaling for a certain period of time. This is usually when structures in the mouth do not hold up properly and there is a collapse of tissue which covers the airway.
One cause of this type of sleep apnea syndrome is obesity. The change in muscle tone and the increased mass around the neck make the structures both larger and weaker. This is the perfect situation for sleep apnea to occur. Also, alcohol and muscle relaxants can contribute to the problem.
There are many different kinds of treatment for sleep apnea syndrome. Some of them focus on eliminating the cause. This includes things like dieting in order to lose weight and quitting smoking, drinking and taking muscle relaxants.
The position in which you sleep can play a big role in how well you breathe. Sleeping on your back is the worst position. Sleeping on your side is preferred and having your head elevated to 30 degrees or more is even better. It is possible to purchase special pillows to “treat” sleep apnea syndrome by causing you to stay in these better positions during your sleep.
You can also wear a devise that helps to pull your lower jaw forward. This opens up more space in the back so that your tongue and other structures cannot collapse as easily.
One of the top methods for treating sleep apnea is a breathing devise called a CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure. This machine causes air to be pushed into the passageway, opening it up for clearer breathing.
There is also a surgical method for treating sleep apnea. It consists of tightening up of the structures in the throat area. Another changes the position of the lower jaw to create more space. These surgeries can be effective but can also be expensive and usually other treatments such as those mentioned above are tried first.
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