Apnea, in terms of the Greek word, is defined as ‘without breath’. This is exactly what happens to individuals who suffer from sleep apnea, which is a serious medical condition that causes the sufferer to completely stop breathing on more than one occasion throughout the night.
While it may be difficult to realize the symptoms of sleep apnea because they occur during sleep, it is possible if you know what to watch for. For instance, you may notice uncommon exhaustion throughout the day, a general feeling of fatigue, frequent or long-lasting headaches, or irritability. These symptoms occur due to lack of sleep, which is caused by sleep apnea. In addition, if your spouse notices intense snoring or long pauses between breaths at night, you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
The only person who can positively identify sleep apnea is a licensed physician. He or she may ask a series of questions or, in some instances, recommend a sleep study by asking you to spend the night in a supervised sleep center. At this type of facility, the purpose is to determine whether you suffer from sleep apnea. A series of monitoring devices will be placed on your body in order to detect your breathing patterns throughout the night.
Sleep apnea, when left untreated, can be extremely dangerous. In fact, it can lead to heart disease, a stroke, or other major health problems. In addition to the obvious health risks, sleep apnea may lessen your immune system’s ability to fight disease or the loss of sleep can cause you to be impaired when driving. Sleep apnea treatments may include sleeping on your side instead of your back, giving up alcohol and cigarettes, ridding your home of allergens, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program or the use of a doctor recommended at-home apnea treatment.
A product known as the Sleep Genie, which is a doctor recommended anti-snoring device, is available to help provide comfort to those with sleep apnea. Manufactured of a comfortable nylon lycra blend, the Sleep Genie comfortably supports the jaw while keeping the mouth closed to prevent snoring. While the Sleep Genie is not intended as a cure for sleep apnea, many users find additional comfort when using this product with the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, which provides continuous air pressure to help prevent the collapse of tissue in the throat that often blocks air passages during sleep. Users of the CPAP machine need to sleep with their mouths closed in order to prevent the air from escaping, which is where the Sleep Genie often proves beneficial.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be used as, or in place of, professional medical advice. Before beginning any treatment for snoring, please consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and remedy.