Sleep apnea can be a serious condition that many patients may develop over the course of their lives. Sadly, this condition is often poorly understood by patients, which can make it difficult for them to make smart choices when it comes to addressing this health problem. If you suspect that you are suffering from sleep apnea, you may benefit from having a couple of the more common questions about this condition answered.
Is Sleep Apnea Is A Harmless Condition?
There is a common belief among some patients that sleep apnea is not a serious medical condition. Rather, these patients may assume that it will only make their snoring worse. While this can be a side effect of sleep apnea, it should be noted that it can also lead to other potentially serious health complications.
When a person is suffering from sleep apnea, they will routinely stop breathing for brief periods of time. This lack of oxygen can put tremendous stress on the heart, which can eventually lead to the risk of a heart attack. Additionally, the constant waking that sleep apnea patients experience can lead to an intense feeling of lethargy and diminished mental abilities due to fatigue.
Is It Possible To Treat Sleep Apnea?
Unfortunately, some patients may not seek out care for this condition because they assume that there are no effective treatments. However, you should be relieved to learn that sleep apnea patients have a number of treatment options available to them. For example, when the sleep apnea is caused by poor alignment of the jaw, the patient may be given a special retainer to wear while they sleep. This retainer will ensure the mouth is properly aligned so that the flow of oxygen is not inhibited.
In some instances, patients may suffer from this problem due to having excess skin at the back of the throat. This skin can be loose enough to cover the airway when the patient is sleeping. To correct this cause, it may be necessary to undergo surgery. During this surgical procedure, the doctor will trim away the excess skin so that the airway will not be at risk of becoming blocked. While this may seem like an extreme solution, it may be the only option for addressing the cause of the sleep apnea. Fortunately, patients that undergo this surgery will have a fairly short recovery time, which can help to limit any inconveniences that they may experience.