Sleep apnea is a very commonly occurring sleep disorder. Millions of people tend to be affected by this condition but not all of them are aware of it and actually get the treatment. Many of the symptoms of the condition tend to be overlooked as being normal, like snoring. However, those with severe sleep apnea are likely to experience a lot of other related health issues. The best way forward is to learn about the different tests available for detecting this condition and find out if you too have this problem. From there treating the condition will aid in leading a healthy life.
What are the tests used to diagnose sleep apnea?
There are quite a few ways to determine whether you have sleep apnea or not. Getting the medical diagnosis for the condition will be useful to start the treatment as early as possible. Some of the tests used to detect sleep apnea include:
- Home sleep tests – The physician would provide you with certain simply tools that are portable devices and which you can use at home to measure the sleeping pattern, the heart rate, oxygen rate, breathing patterns, etc. You may also be asked to maintain a sleep diary to note down how many times you wake up in the night and the time is taken to get back to sleep.
- Physical examination – The healthcare provider would examine you in person to check for physical symptoms that could be the reason for sleep apnea. People with problems in the nasal passageway have a harder time breathing during sleep. Obesity, diabetes, and a family history of the problem are more likely to have the condition as well.
- Nocturnal polysomnography – This test is done in sleep clinics where you are hooked on to the machine while asleep in order to study the sleep patterns, oxygen levels, snoring, heart rate, brain activity, eye movements, etc.
What are the signs of sleep apnea exclusive of the diagnostic tests?
The signs of sleep apnea usually begin to show long before you get an official diagnosis by consulting with the doctor. It is possible for you to look out for these signs and consult with the doctor on the same. The easiest symptom that suggests sleep apnea in someone is that of snoring very loudly at night. Excessive snoring happens when there is no proper air flow and the body is struggling to get enough oxygen.
Being obese is another way to determine if you have this issue. This is particularly true in those with a lot of accumulated fat around the neck, which makes it difficult to breathe, and in turn, disturbs the breathing at night when you lie on your back.
Other symptoms to watch out for are constant fatigue, sweating in the night, waking up too often at night, frequently waking up with morning headaches, urinating multiple time in the night, waking up feeling irritable, having diabetes, and waking up with a dry mouth or a sore throat.
What happens after being diagnosed with sleep apnea?
Getting treated for sleep apnea is the next step to take when diagnosed with this condition. Making lifestyle changes to lose weight and improve sleep would help. The doctor may prescribe certain medications or suggest the use of a CPAP machine to breathe better during sleep. Some individuals may even require surgery if they have an inflamed nasal passageway. It is best to follow the treatment options provided by the healthcare provider. More than anything, ensure that you do take steps to overcome this sleep disorder and prevent it from further disrupting your health.