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Severe Sleep Apnea

Mild and Severe Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder which tons of people all around the world suffer from, and when it is bad enough to be labelled as severe sleep apnea, it can bring complications which are can be lethal. Most people are at high risk of developing this disorder and actually the more people doctors investigate the more cases of sleep apnea they find. Moreover, the increased rates of obesity and poor quality food surely do not help this situation.

If your sleep apnea condition is severe, you should know what complications you face:

In severe sleep apnea the breathing passage is fully blocked (happens often and for long duration) which prevents the body and brain from getting oxygen.

  • It can lead to a stroke – rates of stroke are higher for individuals who have an untreated and severe case of sleep apnea.
  • A person may experience a heart attack – this is brought by the blood stream not getting enough oxygen.
  • The worst is actually death, and the risk is 2 times larger for those who have severe sleep apnea.

If you suspect that you may suffer from sleep apnea, especially if it is severe, then it is important you get yourself tested by a doctor immediately.

Severe Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Severe sleep apnea has a number of common symptoms with more mild types. Most of the time, it is difficult for a person to notice mild or severe sleep apnea symptoms. This is because those who suffer from this condition cannot recognize the symptoms as they are not conscious enough to do so. More often than not, the symptoms will be recognized if there is another person in the room while you sleep who is able to pinpoint them for you. Symptoms are the same for those with moderate and severe cases, though they appear much more frequently and at a longer duration or intensity for those with a severe condition.

  • People who suffer from sleep apnea snore very loudly (more often / louder in severe cases)
  • Their breathing pauses for a couple of seconds, followed by choking sounds. If a person sleeps very relentlessly, it may mean that he or she is having difficult time breathing (longer periods without air, more often occurrence in severe sleep apnea)
  • Needing to urinate frequently
  • He or she is sleepy during the day
  • Person has poor concentration
  • Person is irritable during the day
  • Headaches in the morning

Severe Sleep Apnea Treatment

A sleep doctor or a sleep specialist can analyze your symptoms and find an effective treatment for you condition. Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure, or CPAP for short, is the usual treatment for patients with moderate to severe cases. It’s a device that is a mask-like machine which provides your breathing passages with the air you need. CPAP masks are used for both moderate and severe cases.

Some patients turn to surgery as a treatment. Surgery can increase your airway’s size and reduce the episodes of sleep apnea. This is usually one when you’ve exhausted all other options.

Aside from what the doctor prescribes for you, there are also ways that you can help yourself. Losing weight will reduce the amount of fat in your neck and therefore allow your air passages to open more and can serve as a severe sleep apnea treatment. Weight control is usually the first recommendation of the doctor.

If you are a smoker, you should also know that smoking is known to make the condition worse. Aside from that, you should avoid alcohol and medicine which sedates you as they relax the muscles in your throat which are supposed to keep the air passages open and interfere with breathing. Finally, in order to relieve the symptoms of severe sleep apnea, you should stick to a healthy and steady sleep schedule.

One Comment

  1. Someone in a friend’s family actually had a stroke and it was because of his severe sleep apnea which actually they did nothing about before that