When your sleep is upset throughout the night, you can be very sleepy during the day. Perhaps you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder marked by many brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.
Although just about everyone with sleep apnea snores, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when air moving through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose is blocked. This area is where the soft palate and uvula meet the tongue and upper throat. This area can collapse and vibrate during breathing. Besides sleep apnea, common causes of snoring include:
The treatment of choice for sleep apnea is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). This is a scuba masklike breathing device that blows a regular stream of air through the nose and throat. This constant flow of air forces the floppy tissues to stay open, helping you breathe normally. Other types of treatment include behavior changes. This might include:
Oxygen is not a treatment for sleep apnea, until you refuse other treatments. This is because oxygen doesn't cure sleep apnea or prevent daytime sleepiness. Some people with sleep apnea may need surgery to increase the size of the airway. None of the surgical procedures used is completely successful or without risks. Some people may need more than one surgical procedure before their condition improves.
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Christiana Care Health SystemPO Box 1668, Wilmington, DE 19899800-693-CARE