What are the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?
“This condition may lead to headaches, mood changes, high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, daytime sleepiness and poor concentration and focus,” says Dr Nakra, lifestyle medicine physician (IBLM certified) and founder Path to Health clinic.
In a nutshell, some of the signs and symptoms include
* Lapses in breathing
* Fragmented sleep
* Daytime sleepiness
* Dry mouth after waking
* Decreased libido
* Reduced attention span
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in US notes that obesity is a common cause of sleep apnea in adults. That is because people with this condition have increased fat deposits in their necks that can block the upper airway.
How do you treat sleep apnea?
The most important thing is to maintain an open airway while sleeping. Sometimes, experts may even advice the use of a breathing device such as a positive airway pressure (PAP) machine or mouthpiece, depending on the severity of your condition.
Lifestyle changes involving weight loss, reduction of drinking and smoking, regulating sleep pattern and avoiding certain medication, are also necessary.
“Obstructive sleep apnea can be diagnosed with a sleep study. This condition is associated with weakness of airways, hypertension, old age, smoking and family history and mostly associated with overweight people and obesity. Quite often, losing weight can resolve the problem to a great extent. But it can also be managed with other interventions and using breathing devices,” concludes Dr Nakra.
So, the next time you or any of your family members face these sleep apnea issues, don’t take them lightly.