Sleep Apnea Prevention
Medically Edited and Reviewed by Dr. Erin Zinkhan MD, BSBE
The most annoying thing in the world is when you get into a comfortable bed in your most comfortable pajamas, close your eyes for a long night's well-deserved sleep, and then realize that your eyes are wide open, and sleep is nowhere to be found. However, what is even more annoying is when you have to wake up from your sleep because your body is not letting you relax.
Sleep problems have plagued most of the world's population. From insomnia to sleepwalking, sleeping problems have ruined many a person's day because everyone needs proper sleep to function normally. Without a good night's sleep, it can become hard to concentrate on even the simplest tasks at hand. Another problem that can diminish the quality of sleep is sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder. Sleep apnea occurs when a person's breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Although many might dismiss the symptoms of sleep apnea as snoring, if they don't recognize the symptoms, they might not realize that they have a potentially serious disorder.
If a person needs to sleep during the day, snores loudly during sleep, abruptly wakens from sleep with shortness of breath, gets morning headaches or insomnia, wakes up with a dry or sore mouth or throat, or has trouble paying attention, they may have symptoms of sleep apnea. If the person suffering from these symptoms is fatigued, irritable, or sleepy, then they should consult their doctor. Many people who have sleep apnea can be treated with CPAP machines to help them sleep more comfortably.
CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP machines are devices designed to help breathing and are used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. In obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles in the throat relax and cut off the airway to the lungs. People use a CPAP machine to help them breath better. CPAP machines act as an air stent, as it supports the airway and keeps it open to prevent airway obstruction. CPAP machines do not work as a source of oxygen unless they are used in connection with supplementary oxygen.
A typical CPAP machine consists of an air pump that is contained in a sound absorbing material. Many CPAP machines have a built-in humidifier to keep your airways moist. A hose runs from the CPAP machine to a mask or a nasal pillow. There are several kinds of masks which can be used to provide you with optimal comfort.
The other type of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is caused by a disruption of the brain's signals to the muscles that control breathing, leading to pauses in breathing. If you detect symptoms of central sleep apnea, consult a doctor for proper diagnosis.
CPAP machines are available in several price ranges. Technology has helped improve sleep quality. As people are becoming more aware that their snoring might be something more significant, more people are using CPAP machines to help them get a safe and good night's sleep.