I think I have sleep apnea, now what?

sleep apnea

For many people, a sleep apnea diagnosis, or even the possibility of having sleep apnea without a proper diagnosis can feel overwhelming and scary. It is important to know that this is a condition that is very treatable and can put you on track to getting a good night’s sleep again. Not treating a possible sleep apnea diagnosis can lead to many serious health problems.  

When to see a doctor;

Some of the symptoms, such as loud snoring, insomnia, and waking up with a dry mouth or headache in the morning can be an occasional occurrence, however if this is something that is happening very consistently and affects how you function in the daytime, then it is time to make an appointment with your doctor. Also, if you are having episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep, this can be very serious and needs to be addressed by a medical professional. Too often, sleep apnea patients have no idea this is happening and it is another person (such as your spouse) that is observing this.

How to treat sleep apnea;

Most mild cases of sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes such as loosing weight or quitting smoking. Everyday allergies can also cause mild forms of sleep apnea, in which an allergy treatment will address it.

For those with moderate to severe sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend a therapy called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). This is a mask that is worn overnight and is designed to deliver air pressure that will keep the passages of your airway open throughout the night, and will address any breathing episodes you may have while sleeping. The CPAP machine may seem overwhelming at first, but this has proven to be an extremely effective option for those who suffer from more severe forms of sleep apnea.

There are lots of different types of masks, machines and accessories out there, and you will need to find the one that is the best fit for you. Your doctor will have the best advice on this, or will be able to recommend you to a specialist who can answer any questions you have about the CPAP machine and how it works. There are also tons of options available on CPAP Machines – PAPSmart Canada, including masks, machines and other supplies and accessories.

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