Updated: 2019-09-24 Views: 147
What’s an “apnea？” We learned this in school. Was it a forest-dwelling mammal？ Or a small， biting insect？
Apnea (noun)： a temporary cessation of breathing， especially during sleep. ？solid throw pillow covers
No. OK， that sounds awful. Holding your breath is hardly ever a good idea. Usually， it’s reserved for life-threatening situations. And you almost never want something else to suddenly take your breath away without your consent—not like this， anyway. So， you don’t want your own body betraying you and not letting you breathe so you wake up gasping! That’s not in the fun zone.
There are three types of sleep apnea， none of which are fun. In obstructive sleep apnea， the muscles of the throat relax in a way that blocks airflow. In central sleep apnea， the signals from the brain that tell a person to breathe just don’t get through. And complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of both.
Since obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is 80–90% of all cases， this post will mostly focus on OSA.
So， let’s not go all hypochondriac here. There are clear factors that tell you that you might have sleep apnea or be at risk of it. Any one of them on its own may or may not be enough to diagnose it. But if you have a few overlapping symptomspersonalized wedding party gifts， it might be time to see your doctor.
If you think you might have it， here are some self-diagnosis questions， A.K.A. how to check yo self before you wreck yo self：
If a few of these sound like you， tell your doctor. She can tell you if you need a sleep study to find out for sure.
You need food every three weeks， water every three days， but air？ Three minutes or less. So， sleep apnea is serious stuff. You don’t mess with sleep apnea. It’s life-threatening， and we’re increasingly more at risk of it as we age past 40—as if turning 40 wasn’t bad enough， right？
Complications caused by sleep apnea include：
But older adults can’t hog all the fun—younger adults and children can get sleep apnea from nasal congestion， an inherited narrow throat or small neck， or a family history of sleep apnea (thanks， gramps!). And people of all ages are more at risk if they are obese， smokers， users of alcohol， sedatives， or narcotic medications， or survivors of heart disorders or stroke.
Okay， enough unpleasantness—at least of that kind. If you want to get a real medical diagnosis of sleep apnea， your doctor will usually give you two options：
If you’re lucky (are you？)， your doctor might prescribe a treatment just from a home study， but it might not be enough. You might have to go to the sleep disorder center after all. But the in-crowd are all doing it， anyway， and just a single night of monitoring will prove if you have it or not. So， rest easy.
So， what sort of purgatorial treatment are you in for？ It’s actually not bad! With a positive diagnosis in hand， your doctor can prescribe one or more of the following：
Remember， this post is focused mostly on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)—the most common type. If you have central or complex sleep apnea， your doctor may still treat you for OSA with a CPAP， oral appliance， or something else， which will still improve your sleep， and discuss other options with you.
So， let’s finally talk about it. The snoring elephant in the room. Money. Good news! Most insurance providers， including Medicare， will pay for a sleep study ordered by a doctor—a full test in a sleep lab or a home test. Just call them first to hammer out the deets： let them know the type of test you’re getting， ？and find out how much you’ll have to pay yourself.
If you get diagnosed with sleep apnea， most insurance will also pay for whatever devices and accessories you need. They’ll ask for：
Sleep apnea is well understood， easy to diagnose， relatively easy to treat， and covered by insurance. Yes， it’s always a drag to find out you have a medical problem. But fortunately， there are so many great doctors and treatments for it now. People just like you have recovered. And just think， pretty soon， you’ll be able to have the restful sleep you’ve been missing—so you can be alert while driving and working， snore less， and wake up every morning feeling refreshed and ready for an hour-long jog. Well， okay， that last part is up to you.
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The answer: Not all of them. Make sure everything your children unwrap this year is kid-friendly.