Treating Sleep Apnoea? Is it Time to See a Specialist?

Getting a good night’s sleep can help boost your immune system and strengthen your heart. And getting better sleep means having a better mood, too. But if you aren’t feeling good after sleeping or having problems while sleeping, you should consider seeing a sleep apnoea specialist.

A sleep specialist is a doctor who treats sleep disorders. You might be suffering from a sleep disorder if you are often tired during the day despite sleeping for at least six to seven hours, or you snore loudly and stop breathing while sleeping.

So, how do you know when it’s time to seek medical help? Check these signs and conditions to find out when to consult a specialist for your sleep apnoea.

When to see a sleep specialist

The most common signs and symptoms of sleep apnoea are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Hypersomnia
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Loud snoring
  • Morning headache

It is important to examine yourself and go over your symptoms. You might want to ask a family member or a loved one to check you and observe if you snore or gasp for air while you sleep. Also, are you having a hard time falling asleep? If you experience any of these, you may have a sleep disorder. And that is already an indicator that you should see a specialist and seek sleep apnoea treatment.

What you can do before seeing a specialist

When you schedule an appointment with a sleep apnoea specialist, ask if there’s anything you need to do before the consultation. You might need to keep a sleep diary and list all the symptoms you are experiencing. It is also necessary to prepare personal information, including family medical history and every medication you take. And above all, it is best to create a list of questions to ask the specialist about your current health condition. You may ask the following:

  • What caused my sleep disorder?
  • What are the possible complications of my condition?
  • What tests should I get?
  • What treatments are available?
  • Which sleep apnoea treatment do you think would be the best for me?
  • What lifestyle changes might help treat my condition?

What to expect at the consultation                                           

On the day of your consultation, your sleep specialist will ask about your symptoms, lifestyle, and other illnesses you might have. He will give you a full physical examination and pay attention to your blood oxygen levels, breathing rate, body movements, eye movements, and pulse. He will likewise run through a series of tests to determine what caused your sleep disorder. And once you have a diagnosis, your sleep specialist will recommend treatments to help you sleep well and feel better.

These treatments may vary according to your diagnosis and cause. You may be prescribed some medications or advised to make lifestyle changes. Your sleep apnoea specialist might recommend you to lose weight, change sleep positions, quit smoking, and stop using sleeping pills.

The takeaway

It is best to consult a specialist and treat your sleep apnoea right away. If you don’t, you might continue to experience bad moods, headaches, sore throat, and tiredness. And if it gets worse, it could include higher chances of having diabetes and heart disease.

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