Are you experiencing a problem in breathing during sleep, which is followed by loud snoring and fatigue in the morning? If yes, you are most probably suffering from sleep apnea. Also Read - Women With Obstructive Sleep Apnea at Increased Risk of Cancer: Study
Sleep apnea is a disorder that is characterized by loud snoring, irritability, morning headaches, gasping for air during sleep, etc. According to a study published in the journal Lancet, around a billion people around the globe are suffering from this sleep disorder that is impacting their lives significantly. Also Read - Carrie Fisher died of sleep apnea, says Coroner
It occurs when your airways are obstructed due to collapsed throat or mouth tissue. This leads to deprivation of oxygen in the body. There is an array of factors that can potentially increase your risk of developing sleep apnea. Some of them include obesity, being male, smoking, nasal congestion, family history of the disorder, use of alcohol, etc. If not treated on time, sleep apnea may lead to complications like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver problem, metabolic syndrome, etc. Also Read - Correct CPAP device important for treatment of sleep apnea: Doctors
According to a research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, a decreased tongue size may help you improve your condition. Scientists revealed that decreasing tongue size improves sleep apnea by 31 per cent.
The tongue contains stored fats just like other organs. Removing them can help you decrease the tongue size and make the tissues less likely to collapse and cause obstruction during sleep.
As far as the diagnosis of sleep apnea is concerned, it is confirmed by doctors after an evaluation based on signs and symptoms. The specialist may also evaluate your breathing overnight. You may also have to go through nocturnal polysomnography or home sleep test.
To treat sleep apnea, you may be asked to make certain changes in your lifestyle if the condition is mild. In the case of nasal allergies, anti-allergic medicines may be prescribed. However, if these treatment options do not work, you may have to go through therapies like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP), etc. Surgery remains the last option to treat sleep apnea. It is recommended when every other treatment options fail. During surgery, doctors remove the collapsed tissue or shrink it. Nerve stimulation or implants may also be used for the same.