HomeHealthSnoring:  Apnia, Breathing, and Sleep Disturbances

Sleep Problems Related to Apnia

Sleep apnia is one of those conditions that is frequently misdiagnosed or ignored. Sleeping disturbances are hard to diagnose and treat because the sufferer does not often realize that he or she is experiencing any problems. Especially for people who live alone, it can be very hard to ever determine that there is a problematic condition because the sufferer is unaware of any symptoms and there is no one else around during sleep that can provide any helpful observations. However, there are some symptoms and ways to diagnose sleep apnia even without watching or hearing someone sleep, and knowing this information can be the first step in treating the problem.

Concerns with Sleep Apnia

One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnia is a loud, heavy snoring that occurs in short, punctuacted bursts repeatedly throughout the night. This snoring is a result of the obstruction of the airway that causes a momentary cessation of breathing or sleep apnia. The airway is obstructed usually because the upper part of it, or the airway, collapses, stopping the air flow between the mouth and lungs. Breathing usually stops for about ten seconds before the body wakes up to restore air flow. When this sudden awakening occurs, the snorting sounds of heavy snoring often follow as the body hurriedly tries to regain air.

Not all snoring is a symptom of sleep apnia, however, but nearly all cases of sleep apnia are accompanied by snoring. It is exceptionally rare for someone suffering from this condition to be a non-snorer because of the shocking way the body wakes up after the sleep apnia episodes. If someone does not realize that he or she snores at night, however, another symptom of sleep apnia is persistent fatigue that can cause people to fall asleep at random moments all throughout the day. Although this is most often just an embarassing nuisance, it can be a problem if people fall asleep while driving or if they cannot complete tasks or assignments because of it.

There are many different treatment options for sleep apnia. Some are simple and easy to do, while others are more complex and should be used only for the most serious cases. Diagnosing sleep apnia usually takes persistence and becoming informed on the part of the sufferer because it is a condition that can easily be confused with others and that many people ignore or overlook. Treating sleep apnia, however, can be incredibly helpful and allow people to enjoy their lives more fully without dealing with continual fatigue and constant interrupted sleep.

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