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Sleep Apnea and Snoring

man snoring woman next to him cant sleep

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common and serious condition in which relaxation of the throat muscles cause blockage of the airways while sleeping. This causes people to have interrupted sleep because they have difficulty in breathing or sometimes stopping of breathing for short periods of time.Some people also find that they feel unusually tired or even sleepy during the day. This condition tends to affect adults between the ages of 30 or 60. Major risk factors include obesity, smoking, alcohol, large tonsils, large tongue or nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems.Snoring is common among patients with sleep apnea but not all snorers have sleep apnea.

Diagnosis

Initial physical examination is required by GP or ENT specialist. The diagnosis can be confirmed by undergoing a sleep study, which monitors for signs of breathing problems while sleeping at home or hospital setting.

Treatment

The treatment of obstructive sleep apnea depends on the severity of symptoms, and lifestyle changes can be very effective to reduce or manage symptoms. In some cases an oral device or mouthpiece can shift or support the jaw to help keeping the throat open at night. In more severe cases, a machine that delivers air through the nose and mouth can help to prevent the airways from becoming blocked. Surgery is usually considered only if other treatments failed. With active management, many people see an improvement in their symptoms and day-to-day life.