Opening Your Eyes to Sleep Apnea

Aug - 11 2016 | By

Put a stop to these horrible nights

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes sleepers to stop temporarily breathing throughout the night. According to Science Daily, patients often do not realise they have the disorder until others notice their breathing problems or until they experience resulting health problems, which may include drowsiness, high blood pressure, a 30-percent greater risk of heart failure, and even cancer or death. Here are the few currently known ways to treat sleep apnea.

Lose Weight

not fully rested when waking upFat acceptance may be good for psychological health, but those who are overweight have more soft tissue in the threat, which further narrows their airways when they are lying down. It means they are more prone to sleep apnea as well as snoring and other issues that affect sleep quality. Umea University in Sweden found that nearly 85 percent of obese women suffer from sleep apnea. According to the American College of Physicians, a 10-percent reduction in body weight can significantly reduce symptoms — some patients have even ceased to have the disorder after losing significant amounts of weight. Studies show dieting and weight loss are highly effective methods of treating sleep apnea for patients who are not already at their ideal body weight, reports the State University of New York.

Increase Oxygen

Sleep apnea, by its clinical definition, reduces sleepers’ blood oxygen levels by at least 3 percent while increasing carbon dioxide levels. When body tissue does not receive enough oxygen, not only are the brain and other organs at greater risk of damage, but tumours in the body also form more blood vessels, according to the European Association of Urology. This has been shown to result in more aggressive cancers, particularly in the skin and kidneys, in patients with sleep apnea. The EAU suggests quitting smoking and exercising regularly as the best ways to increase oxygen levels in the body. Stanford School of Medicine also recommends avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed, as they may affect blood circulation and the body’s response to low oxygen levels during sleep.

Visit a Doctor

sleeping trouble can come from apneaPatients may wish to consult their doctors about other treatments, such as surgery, oral appliances, CPAP masks, or machines that help expand their airways. Unlike lifestyle and behaviour changes, sleep surgery and oral devices are not right for everyone. At the same time, those with sleep apnea may have more trouble dieting and exercising because they have less energy during the day, notes Stanford Medicine. Because weight loss and sleep surgery are the only methods to cure rather than reduce sleep apnea, according to Harvard Medical School, and surgery involves side effects, it is vital for patients to visit their physicians to determine what most suits their conditions and needs.