Impaired breathing during sleep is a common disorder that can affect many. It particularly affects adults and the elderly, who are more prone to respiratory disorders due to their age. This condition is referred to as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and people often disregard its symptoms.
Despite the seriousness of obstruction such as OSA, its symptoms are not always taken until they lead to an accident or other serious health issues. Termed as a chronic health disorder, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition that affects the upper respiratory tract.
As its name suggests, it affects individuals in their sleep and is characterized by the upper airway repeatedly closing during sleep. It can be treated effectively with the help of a proper diagnosis, medications, and support from near and dear ones. Here we provide you with useful information regarding this condition and offer ways in which early detection can save lives.
How Does Sleep Apnea Affect You?
Do you want to know how sleep apnea affects you? Let’s take a closer look at how the condition manifests and its symptoms before looking out for possible apnea solutions.
When you sleep, the muscles in the throat tend to relax and constrict, restricting the amount of air entering the lungs. If you have sleep apnea, the airways tend to close for multiple seconds at a stretch.
When the airways open up, the sudden gush of air into the lungs causes one to snore loudly or wake up choking or gasping for breath.
How Do You Know Whether You Have Sleep Apnea?
You will not know if you have sleep apnea unless someone else points out the symptoms to you. While the most common symptoms are loud snoring and exhaustion even after sleeping at night, you may want to check if you experience any or all of these symptoms.
- Snoring quite loudly, in short bursts when your airways open
- Gasping for air
- Waking up with a dry throat/mouth
- Disturbed sleep
- Daytime sleepiness
- Morning headache
- Breathing stops for short intervals during sleep
Effective Sleep Apnea Solutions: Help from Family Members
Chances are you don’t know you have sleep apnea until someone points it out to you. The condition and its symptoms are spotted first by bed partners or family members in most cases. Take the help of your family members to help you deal with sleep apnea effectively.
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Studies have revealed that individuals diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea get respite from the symptoms and respond more positively to medications and treatments when a friend/family member is supporting them. So how can a family member help you alleviate sleep apnea symptoms?
Here are some pointers:
Noticing the Problem:
A family member can be the best person to notice how you sleep and have sleep apnea symptoms.
Encouraging for Medical Help:
Many individuals suffering from sleep apnea tend to shy away from seeking medical help for the problem. A family member would encourage you to get the condition diagnosed and treated via RFA (Radio Frequency Absorption), CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), or other sleep apnea solutions.
Based on the treatment plan, you can get the help of a family member to monitor your sleep cycle and provide regular updates about the same. They can follow up with your doctor to ensure the treatment is effective.
Providing Emotional Support:
Adjusting to respiratory devices like CPAP can be hard for individuals. A family member can offer the necessary emotional support for you to pull through it and opt for other options if a prescribed treatment plan does not work.
A family member would be the right person to stay by your side until the condition improves. Simple actions like driving a car can become difficult for individuals with sleep apnea.
Staying close to someone who knows about your condition and can offer assistance whenever needed would be tremendously helpful for you until your symptoms disappear.
In the end, the best thing you can do is try to train yourself out of excessive worry. Even though stress is inherent to life and unavoidable, it’s how you deal with it that matters.
We are not telling you that it’s going to be easy, but with the right treatment plan coupled with support from loved ones, you will be able to lead a significantly healthier, more manageable, and stress-free life. You deserve that much.