In addition, obstructive sleep apnea is a known risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.
Diagnosis is made with an overnight sleep study, often done at a sleep center, although some may be able to do their testing at home.
The patient who is suspected to have sleep apnea is connected to wires that measure oxygen, blood pressure, heart rate, brain activity, and eye movement. All this is done in an effort to evaluate the quality, events that occur, and length of time someone sleeps. That includes finding out if and when they go into their REM sleep cycles.
This information is then processed to determine whether someone has sleep apnea and how best to treat it.
Treatments can vary, based on the diagnosis and suspected cause. Naturally, if someone’s weight is the biggest issue because of pressure on the neck and collapsing the airway, then efforts to lose weight become a priority. Those with anatomical issues or enlarged tonsils may require surgery to correct the situation.
Some people may have success with mouth pieces that adjust the jaw and tongue to prevent airway problems. Those with more moderate-to-severe sleep apnea may need the continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) to help force open the airways for better sleep.
Do not let sleep apnea ruin your health or the health of someone you love. Talk with your health care provider about your symptoms, and seriously consider being proactive by having a sleep study done.
1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Key Sleep Disorders.
2) National Institutes of Health. (2012). How is Sleep Apnea Treated.
3) National Institutes of Health. (2012). What is Sleep Apnea?
4) Rajan, P and Greenberg, H. (2015). Obstructive sleep apnea as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
5) Stansbury, RC, and Strollo, PJ. (2015). Clinical Manifestations of Sleep Apnea.