This is characterized by a person gasping for breath while sleeping, or waking up in a sweat trying to regain respiration.
Many people suffering from sleep apnea are not aware of their malady; however the following symptoms may help in identifying a patient of sleep apnea:
- Fatigue or drowsiness throughout the day
- Obstructive breathing during sleeping
- Excessive perspiring during sleeping
- Chest retraction while asleep
- Change in behavior
- A dry mouth up on waking up.
- High blood pressure
- Waking up with a headache every morning
There are two different types of sleep apneas; Obstructive sleep apnea and Central Sleep Apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is most common of the two and is characterized by the cave in of the air pathway during sleeping obstructing the flow of air to the lungs.
Central sleep apnea is much more complex and is characterized by a delay in receiving the signal from the brain to breathe.
While the causes for the two sleep apneas may differ the results are the same.
However, there are different remedies that can be taken to cure sleep apnea.
This essay will discuss those remedies aimed at curing the most acute type of sleep apnea.
Using a Continuous Positive airway pressure machine C-PAP: This is the most recommended device to cure moderate to severe sleep apnea.
This device is like a mask that a person can wear over the nose.
The main aim of this device is to provide a certain pressure of air pumping, to keep the air pathways open for breathing by the individual.
The apparatus has impressive features in it, such as the "bilevel PAP" and the "Auto PAP".
The purpose of the "bilevel PAP" is to provide a fluctuating influx of air pressure that is from higher to lower air pressure.
This aids in making breathing easier for many.
"Auto PAP" makes use of an internal regulator that regulates the pressure of air that is to be pumped in, rather than maintaining a stable air pressure coming in.
However many people tend to find the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device difficult.
Following are some tips to allow an effective usage of this device: Start by using the CPAP device multiple times during the day to get accustomed to having a device over your face.
Once you have acquired your comfort level, start playing with the air pressure to get used to the air being pushed in.
This can be done by using the "ramp" setting.
However, incase you feel uncomfortable with the device try switching pads -- using softer ones.
Changes can be made to the straps, tubing as well as the mask to cater to the needs of the patient.
There are different sizes of mask available in the market; pick the one that best suits you.
As for the CPAP unit, to dim the sound of the machine try putting it under the bed or the pillow or using ear muffs instead.
To cure the dry skin that might be caused due to this, use either a moisturizer or a humidifier.
And the most important tip of all, keep the equipment clean and consult your doctor for the best use of this machine.
Apart from using this device, there are various surgeries that can also be performed on the patient by a dentist or an orthodontist, to cure sleep apnea.
TRACHEOSTOMY This surgery is used only in the most dire cases of sleep apnea.
The surgery comprises of carving out a hole in the neck and inserting a tube in to it, accompanied by a valve.
Throughout the day, this particular valve is closed to allow the person to speak.
However at night the valve is open to maintain the flow of air in to the lungs.
Even though this surgery was devised back in the 1980's nowadays it is used in only the most extreme cases of sleep apnea.
UVULOPALATOPHARYNGOPLASTY (UPPP) This surgery is primarily for those who do not feel satisfied with the use of the CPAP machine.
This surgery comprises of removing the "uvula", that is the little fleshy thing hanging at the backend of the throat.
Along with the uvula excessive tissue; the effectiveness of the surgery is debatable, with only 50% gaining any real benefits while the rest still having to pursue the use of the CPAP machine.
MANDIBULAR MYOTOMY This is the most effective surgery proven to completely eliminate every kind of sleep apnea.
The surgery comprises of the cutting out a rectangular piece of bone from the front part of the jaw where the tongue muscles are attached.
This rectangular piece if then pulled forward, rotated ninety degrees and attached in order to over come the defects that have been produced by the cutting of the bone earlier.
As a result of this, the tongue is pulled forward, almost six to ten millimeters.
While these surgeries may provide the best possible solution to the problem of sleep apnea, it is still strongly advised to consult only the most qualified doctors in this regard, as these researches are still undergoing a lot of research.