If you think you may have sleep apnea, think about whether you experience signs besides snoring. Do you wake up exhausted every day, or experience morning headaches? Do you find it difficult to focus on work or school no matter how much sleep you get? If so, you may want to talk to your primary care provider about sleep apnea.
Along with reviewing your symptoms and medical history, your provider may use sleep apnea screening questionnaires, such as the STOP-BANG or the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, to assess your risk of sleep apnea. If your primary care provider thinks you are at high risk for sleep apnea, they may order a sleep test called a polysomnography, that can often be done from the comfort of your own home. The home sleep test monitors your breathing, oxygen level, and heart rate. In some cases, a sleep test needs to be performed in a lab to capture additional information such as brain waves. While this is helpful for complicated presentations of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, most people will benefit just from a home sleep study.
If a sleep apnea diagnosis is confirmed, your healthcare provider may offer differing treatment depending on the severity of your symptoms. Common treatments for sleep apnea include any combination of the following:
Healthy lifestyle changes, like weight loss or quitting drinking or smoking
Treating underlying problems, such as heart failure or diabetes
A breathing device called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that keeps the airway open during sleep
Oral appliances that keep the throat open at night
In severe cases where other treatments aren't working, a doctor may recommend surgery to correct the underlying problem, such as removing enlarged tonsils or adenoids or shrinking tissue in the back of the mouth.
Sleep apnea is difficult enough to deal with on its own, but when left untreated, can lead to more serious health problems, like high blood pressure, heart problems, or even a stroke. So whether a partner's tired of your snoring or you're experiencing constant fatigue during the day, make sure to talk to a doctor if you think you may have sleep apnea.
1Life Healthcare Inc. published this content on 12 September 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 13 September 2021 04:31:05 UTC.