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Men's Health > sleeping problems > obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

If your snoring shakes the ceiling and wakes others in your house, you may have obstructive sleep apnea.

This particular condition affects nearly 10 percent of men across the board and is one of the root causes of sustained elevated blood pressure as well as men being kicked out of their bedrooms by their spouse.

Why Does Sleep Apnea Happen?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder occurs when a person's throat muscles relax to the point that they actually block the upper airway, resulting in an evening of oxygen deprivation. This shortage of oxygen leads to constricted blood vessels, which in turn leads to high blood pressure. A mil case of obstructive sleep apnea, in which the breathing stops for longer than 10 seconds up to five times per hour, increases the risk of developing hypertension by 40 percent.

A bad case of apnea easily triples the risk.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Obstructive Apnea

So you think you've got what do you do?

To find out if you're literally suffocating yourself, ask your doctor for a referral to a sleep lab for a sleep study but don't get too excited, they probably don't have your favorite T&A channel available for your late night viewing pleasure. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has a searchable list at their website so you could direct him there if he's totally clueless, which if that's the case you probably want to get a different doctor.

If the diagnosis is dire, you'll probably be prescribed a CPAP machine, an uncomfortable masklike contraption that really kills any sexual mood by blowing air into your throat to keep it open.

Think you might prefer a sleep disorder remedy that goes in your mouth rather than over it? Ask about the antidepressant mirtazapine. While it's not specifically FDA approved to treat obstructive sleep apnea, researchers at the University of Illinois found that apnea sufferers who took mirtazapine an hour before bedtime had 50 percent fewer incidents of suspended breathing episodes than those taking a placebo.

Estimates place nearly one million patients who know they have sleep apnea yet do not have an effective treatment that they can tolerate. Using this prescription medication is an alternative that could possibly benefit an enormous group of obstructive sleep apnea victims.

Sam Fields

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