How Long Does It Take to Recover from Sleep Apnea?

Recovering from

sleep apnea

can be a long process, with effects typically showing up after three months and full recovery taking up to one year. This is due to the fact that the throat can collapse, preventing air from entering the lungs (hypopnea) or completely blocking it (apnea). This keeps the tongue from relaxing and pressing back on the trachea while sleeping, which is one of the ways

obstructive sleep apnea

occurs. Brandon Peters, MD, a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist, recommends that after several months of healing, a re-evaluation should be done with up-to-date sleep tests to ensure that the full benefits of treatment are obtained.

Driving authorities (such as VicRoads) recognize certain sleep disorders, including

sleep apnea

, that can affect the ability to drive. After nasal surgery, which includes removing turbines or correcting the deviation of the nasal septum (called septoplasty), it is advised that patients sleep with their head raised on pillows for the first 24 hours after the procedure. Those who accumulate fat on their neck, tongue, and upper abdomen are particularly vulnerable to sleep apnea. To combat this, special devices are used to push the lower jaw forward and create more space in the throat.

However, these devices do not prevent the throat from collapsing during sleep. When this happens, the brain receives messages that something is wrong and wakes up for a few seconds. To diagnose sleep apnea, you will be connected to a portable machine and monitoring cables will be placed on your body to monitor your sleep during the night. Treatment for sleep apnea usually involves using devices that push air through a hose connected to a mask placed on your face while you sleep.

There are many approaches to treating sleep apnea, depending on its type and severity. If you notice any of the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, which are more likely to occur with sleep apnea, you should go to the emergency room immediately. These devices help keep airways open while sleeping so that breathing is not interrupted. People with sleep apnea can suffer from unexplained fatigue and mood changes due to breathing interruptions that wake them up and prevent them from getting deep, restful sleep.

If you have risk factors for heart disease, your doctor may choose to treat you even for mild sleep apnea.

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