Excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, nightmares, sleep deprivation, snoring, episodes of no breathing, abnormal breathing pattern, breathing through the mouth, loud breathing, or shallow breathing, depression, dry mouth, dry throat, fatigue, headache, irritability, mood swings, sexual dysfunction, teeth grinding, weight gain. Do one or more of these symptoms seem familiar to you? If so, then you may be suffering from sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts and can be a chronic cause of great discomfort throughout your life. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. It is usually is a chronic condition that disrupts your sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you’ll often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep and as a result if this, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day which is why Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness. Some of the leading therapies for sleep apnea are:
1. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
If you have moderate to severe sleep apnea, you may benefit from a machine that delivers air pressure through a mask placed over your nose while you sleep. With CPAP, the air pressure is somewhat greater than that of the surrounding air, and is just enough to keep your upper airway passages open, preventing apnea and snoring.
Although CPAP is the most common and reliable method of treating sleep apnea, some people find it cumbersome or uncomfortable. Some people give up on CPAP, but with some practice, most people learn to adjust the tension of the straps to obtain a comfortable and secure fit.
You may need to try more than one type of mask to find one that’s comfortable. Some people benefit from also using a humidifier along with their CPAP systems.
2. Other airway pressure devices
If CPAP continues to be a problem for you, you may be able to use a different type of airway pressure device that automatically adjusts the pressure while you’re sleeping (Auto-CPAP). Units that supply bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) are also available. These provide more pressure when you inhale and less when you exhale
3. Expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP)
These small, single-use devices are placed over each nostril before you go to sleep. The device is a valve that allows air to move freely in, but when you exhale, air must go through small holes in the valve. This increases pressure in the airway and keeps it open.
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