What to Do If You Suspect You Have Sleep Apnea?

If you think you may have sleep apnea, it's important to see your doctor. They can help you determine if you need further evaluation and may refer you to a sleep disorder center. A healthcare provider will ask questions about your symptoms and history, and if they suspect sleep apnea, they'll likely want you to be tested. A polysomnogram (PSG) is a sleep test that can be done at a sleep disorder center or even at home.

During a sleep study, surface electrodes will be placed on the face and scalp and will send recorded electrical signals to the measuring equipment. For milder cases of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes such as losing weight or stopping smoking may be recommended. If your doctor suspects that you have sleep apnea based on the test and symptoms, they will likely recommend that you undergo a sleep study. This involves using a device that uses positive pressure to keep your airway open while you sleep.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks and helmets come in many styles and sizes to comfortably treat sleep apnea. In addition, most home sleep apnea tests cannot differentiate between episodes of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. However, there are several subtypes of central sleep apnea, and each has specific diagnostic criteria. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in your head and neck relax while you sleep, causing surrounding tissue to press on your trachea.

Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder in which the airways repeatedly close or narrow during the night, restricting airflow and oxygen.Treatment can ease symptoms and can help prevent heart problems and other complications. Your doctor can also talk about some of the possible health risks associated with sleep apnea and offer precautions not to drive if you are frequently sleepy during the day. 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.

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