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The Treatment Of Sleep Apnea

Dec 12, 2007
Sleep apnea is a more serious case of sleep disorder which is characterized by the inability to fall into a deep REM state. This is usually due to snoring or other breathing problems that are commonly undiagnosed by the people who suffer from them. Untreated cases of sleep apnea can be extremely deteriorating to your health and to your relationships with other people. Although sleep apnea is very common, especially among African Americans and Westerners, it is often untreated and causes people to lose their jobs or get into more car accidents each year. In fact, twelve million cases of sleep apnea were recorded recently in the US and the vast majority of the cases are believed to be undiagnosed so this number is likely to be much higher. The cases go undiagnosed because of a lack of awareness. Significant consequences are experienced by those who suffer from sleep apnea if untreated.

Because sleep apnea is a clinical sleeping disorder, it is said to lead to serious complications and even death in the most extreme cases. The initial symptoms are fragmented and incomplete sleep. These then lead a person feeling tired, sleepy and irritable during the daytime which can lead to serious car accidents or loss of employment. Psychologists also say that kids who are living with parents who suffer from sleep apnea also suffer from it indirectly. This can also have a serious consequence as the kids receive emotional abuse and suffer many problems themselves later in life. If you are a kid, you don't have any choice but to deal with the emotional problems that are happening to your parents. This is like having to take care of an ill person when you are still only a child. Do you want to burden your child with this?

Untreated sleep apnea can cause weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, drying of the mouth, headaches and less interest in sexual activities. We can treat all of these diseases separately but this would only be like cutting the branches while the roots are still intact. It will still produce many other branches in the future. Sleep apnea symptoms are pervasive and can change you and your entire life. Broken marriages and relationships have resulted from this very serious condition because the absence of sexual activity and unknown changes in temper cause a spouse to eventually leave. Do not let this happen! Know about your sleeping condition and make the necessary changes to treat it!

Mild cases of sleep apnea can be treated by other methods besides medication or surgery. For most cases, it is advisable to make certain behavioral changes that are oftentimes the primary causes of sleep apnea. If you are smoking, it is best to quit, and if you are a bit heavy, it may be time to lose some weight. The fatty infiltration of the soft tissue in a sleep apnea patient's pharynx narrows as they gain weight and it contributes to an airway resistance and an airway blockage later on. Medical practitioners also recommend sleeping in a different position such as on your side to prevent the collapsing and closing of the tissue behind the throat. To keep the airway open during sleep, small devices can also be inserted into the mouth. These help by bringing the jaw forward or keeping the soft tissue open.

Moderate or severe sleep apnea is usually treated using a Continuous Positive Airway (C-PAP) machine. This machine works very well as it literally blows air into your nose thru a tube and a mask, maintaining a constant level of air pressure to keep the airway open. For a very severe case of sleep apnea, however, another machine known as Bi-Level Machine (B-PAP) works by supplying two different levels of air pressure to help the patient breath in and out.

Surgery is another option to relieve the uncomfortable consequences brought on by incomplete sleep. This surgery involves modification to the dangling tissue at the back of the throat or the jaw itself. Modification of the tissue is known as Unulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and the jaw modification is called Mandibular Myotomy which was developed by Stanford surgeons. If you want a laser assisted treatment, you may choose the Uvuloplasty which can remove the problem tissues that cause blockages in sleep apnea. Somnoplasty is the newest surgical procedure for a sleep apnea treatment. This uses radio waves to shrink the tissue that cause snoring. In rare cases where nasal passages are causing the blockage, septoplasty surgery may be done. This is done on the nasal valves themselves that cause a collapse in the nostril tissues.

Behavioral changes, changes in lifestyle, air blowing machines and painless surgeries are all treatments for the simplest to the most severe cases of sleep apnea. What ever method you may choose, there will always be a way of getting a happier life and a better night's sleep in the future!
About the Author
Over 70 Million people in the USA suffer from some kind of Sleep Disorder! There are actually hundreds of ways to improve your sleep but the first thing that is needed is to raise more awareness! If you want to sleep better tonight , you can visit this information Sleep Aid Web Site that is packed with FREE information: http://www.Sleep-Aid-Solutions.com
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