It’s time to talk about some of the essential factors of sleep that matter deeply to our lives. To understand these factors more clearly, let’s take an example of a person whose job is to sit in front of a computer in most of his day and night time hours. It’s every second person’s story nowadays, so before we mention our next statement, we know you already understand what we are going to talk about now. Yes, the person with his life full of screen time has a terrible sleeping schedule.
The person mostly sleeps in unplanned hours, trying his best to get some rest but not on time. The priority of the person is to complete his tasks, no matter the time and place. These tasks bring out the worst health problems for a person, and one of the most affecting one is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, also known as OSA.
What is OSA?
OSA, obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where breathing repeatedly starts and stops during sleep. There are several types of sleep apnea found among sleep disorder patients, but the most common one is OSA. Obstructive sleep apnea happens for multiple kinds of reasons that include obesity, wrong sleeping position, and sleep deprivation. People that suffer from OSA have maximum chances of snoring frequently.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common one in all its categories. Its side effects are not dangerous until it reaches the point where the person is carrying its symptoms regularly and for a longer time. One should never take its symptoms for granted, and when its continuation is long enough, consult the doctor immediately.
Every health problem has its procedure to be diagnosed through multiple systems. OSA also consists of specific steps that require straight attention to get the right results. Now you must be wondering about the steps that are available in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosis for a patient. Below are some details related to your query:
- First, your doctor will evaluate you based on your symptoms and condition. An examination will be done, and some tests will be taken as well. After assessing your doctor may send you to consult through a sleep specialist in a sleep center for a more detailed evaluation.
- Furthermore, you will be examined physically. Your doctor will check the back of your throat, nose, and mouth for extra tissue or any unusual abnormalities. To monitor blood pressure levels, your doctor may measure your neck and waist circumference.
- While getting yourself checked from a sleep specialist, he may perform some additional evaluations to review your situation. The seriousness of your condition will also be analyzed, and you will be prescribed treatment accordingly. Some of the evaluation procedures also include checking breathing and other body functioning levels overnight.
- Some of the tests for OSA include Polysomnography and home sleep apnea testing. Polysomnography includes during sleep study where the patient is injected with equipment that checks his heart, lung, brain activity, breathing patterns, arm and leg movements, and oxygen level. The procedure will continue all night, where all of these primary functions will be monitored.
- Polysomnography test helps the doctor to check other sleep disorders that prefer more day time sleepiness but require different solutions.
- In-home sleep apnea testing, your doctor may give you an at-home version of Polysomnography to check your OSA. Generally, the test involves measuring airflow, breathing patterns, and blood oxygen levels along with limb movements and snoring levels. You may be sent to an ear, nose, and throat doctor to check if any anatomic blockage is present in your nose or throat.
Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea
After being diagnosed with OSA, one will understand how much it’s essential to bring minor changes in life that may seem ordinary or uncommon but useful for health reasons. Treating OSA is not hard to perform as its treatment requires the steps that are easily adapted by all kinds of people. Some of the main steps for treating OSA are as follows.
- Bring in some changes in your lifestyle. If you are overweight, try losing some with regular healthy habits and some exercise. Carry out some stretches and standard exercises like a walk or jog at least 30 minutes a day. Avoid alcohol as much as you can, and if you are struggling with its amount, then try your best to consume it several hours before bedtime. Avoid smoking at all costs, and do not sleep on your back or your head laid straight.
- Take your nasal decongestant or allergy medications regularly if you are a regular patient of seasonal or chronic allergies. Do not avoid your treatments, or it will become only worse for you.
- Do not take any sedative medications such as antianxiety drugs or sleeping pills to complete your sleep cycles. Bring out the habit naturally.
- Take therapies like positive airway pressure (CPAP) to work on your airway pressure. Its best suited for patients of OSA. People with mild OSA can use oral appliances like a mouthpiece to control their snoring levels.
- If your case has taken some dangerous turns, you can turn towards surgery options if your doctor recommends it. You may have surgical removal of tissue surgery where the tissue at the back of your mouth will be removed. They may also remove your tonsils, which is performed at a hospital with a general anesthetic.
- People who can’t tolerate CPAP or BPAP therapies are prescribed upper airway stimulation for severe OSA. It’s proven that this surgery brings a lot of improvement in OSA symptoms.
- Some of the other surgeries include nasal surgery, implants, surgical opening in the neck and jaw surgery with more specific reasons.
Try your best to treat your sleep and snoring problems as soon as possible, or it will become a hindrance to your typical day to day activities. OSA may not present itself as a life-threatening disease, but its effects are strong enough to bring problems into our life.