So you’ve finally found out what is causing your snoring problems and many bad night’s sleep and your doctor has just diagnosed you with sleep apnea. While there may be some relief as to knowing what has been causing your sleep problems, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed, and you may have questions and apprehensions as to what happens next.
First of all: it is important to know that you are not alone. Sleep apnea affects thousands of Canadian men and women each year. It is also important to know that while there is no actual cure for sleep apnea, there are ways to alleviate your symptoms so that you sleep much better at night and you have a better quality of life overall.
Sleep is one of the most important factors in living a healthy lifestyle along with eating right and getting exercise. So without it, many people experience a lot of problems with daytime fatigue and drowsiness.
The two main types of sleep apnea are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea: the most common type, where the tissue at the back of your airway relaxes to the point where it can become blocked. Many people snore loudly as a result of this.
- Central sleep apnea: where your brain does not signal to the muscles that control your airway, often resulting in it becoming blocked.
If you have not done so already, be sure to sit down with your doctor or sleep specialist and discuss that the next steps are in treating your condition. This is the perfect time to ask any questions that you may have and the two of you can figure out the best treatment plan for you. Some people have a milder case of sleep apnea than others do, so the way one person deals with it may be vastly different from other people. Your doctor will know best as to what type of sleep apnea you have, and what kind of treatment plan will work best for you.
One of the most popular, and recommended treatments is the Continuous Positive Airway (CPAP) machine. This is a mask that you wear at night, connected to a machine that exerts a continuous flow of air, so that your airway stays open as you sleep. This is known to be very successful for providing relief almost immediately, and many CPAP users have testified to having more mental and physical energy during the daytime.
Your doctor may also recommend that you make some changes to your lifestyle in order to help alleviate your sleep apnea, including healthy eating and getting regular exercise.
So you see, sleep apnea is treatable and you are not alone! Be sure to confide in your doctor as to your next steps towards getting a good night’s sleep.