While many issues can prevent a person from getting a good night’s sleep, few of these can actually be fatal. However, sleep apnea can be, which is why it’s best that someone who believes they may have this medical condition see a doctor as soon as they can. Their primary physician will likely recommend that they visit a pulmonologist in Las Vegas. Pulmonologists are experts in diseases and medical afflictions of the lungs, which relates to sleep apnea.
First, it helps to understand what this condition is. When a person has sleep apnea, they are obstructing their own sleep. There are three different kinds, complex sleep apnea syndrome, central sleep apnea, and obstructive sleep apnea. With complex sleep apnea syndrome, a person has central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea at the same time. This condition is also called treatment-emergent sleep apnea. With central sleep apnea, a patient may have a hard time breathing since their muscles and brain aren’t coordinating. With obstructive sleep apnea, the patient’s throat opens up as they sleep and they’re more likely to snore.
Of course, once a person is asleep, they themselves can’t tell what type of sleep apnea they have. A pulmonologist will be able to make the diagnosis though. There are other symptoms to be on the lookout for, including crankiness when waking up, lack of concentration during the day, exhaustion and fatigue, waking up often once asleep, headaches, a sore throat and dry mouth in the morning, an inability to breathe when waking up in the middle of the night, and snoring, typically that which is louder than usual.
There are certain risk factors that make a person more likely to develop both central sleep apnea and constructive sleep apnea. These include having had a stroke, taking prescribed narcotics, having heart problems, age, nasal blockages, smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, having a shorter neck, and being overweight. Men are more likely to have sleep apnea than women, and the condition is also hereditary.
When visiting with a pulmonologist, they will typically request a sleep study, where the patient stays overnight and doctors review their sleep patterns. These doctors will record the rate of snoring, shortness of breath, and how often that the patient wakes up throughout the night. Continuous positive airway pressure therapy, which includes a mask that’s hooked up to a machine that regulates breathing, is a common treatment. By quitting smoking, drinking, and exercising more, symptoms may also abate.
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