While you may look at the snoring problem of your partner more as a nuisance and dismiss it as a natural part of his sleeping pattern, health experts believe it may be a sign of a much deeper problem. This is because snoring is one of the signs of sleep apnoea.
What is Sleep Apnoea?
Healthcare professionals define apnoea as the temporary cessation of breathing, often lasting from a few seconds to as long as 20 seconds. There are three kinds of sleep apnoea, the most common of which is obstructive due to blockage of the airway passages. The second type is less common, which is often a result of a problem in the brain. The third type is a combination of central nervous problems and issues in airway obstruction.
Can It be Treated?
Sleep apnoea can be treated by identifying its cause. In mild cases, self-help treatments are available. As the majority of sleep apnoea cases are of the obstructive type, measures to prevent airway obstruction can negate the occurrence of this condition. Here are some of them:
- Weight loss can help improve sleep apnoea symptoms by reducing the amount of fat tissue at the back of the throat.
- Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and avoiding sleeping pills, sedatives, and alcohol can also help minimise breathing interferences.
- Plenty of sleep can also help minimise the occurrence of sleep apnoea.
- Sleep on your side to maintain an open airway. You can also sleep with several pillows propped under your head to improve airflow to the lungs.
- Other alternative methods include singing and playing didgeridoo.
- Wear a dental appliance custom made by a family dentist to relieve symptoms, as this repositions the jaw and tongue for improved airflow. As DannytheDentist.co.uk explains, family and cosmetic dentists in Surrey may provide a ‘personalised holistic care approach to your dentistry needs’.
For moderate to severe cases, treatments may include the following:
- Oxygen therapy
- Continuous positive airflow pressure treatments often indicated for patients in the ICU
- Treatment of the underlying pathology
Treatment for sleep apnoea begins with a comprehensive assessment of your symptoms by a sleep doctor. If the symptoms are indicative of obstructive sleep apnoea, your doctor will recommend several measures to help you relieve the symptoms.