Loud snoring is a sign of sleep apnea. It’s not a guarantee that your dad has the condition though. If he snores and suddenly snorts or chokes, he may have sleep apnea and should talk to a doctor.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing slows and becomes very shallow or completely stops for a few seconds or minutes. A person with sleep apnea may have breathing change or more than two dozen times per hour.
With sleep apnea, deep sleep is interrupted. It can lead to being tired and groggy during the day. If your dad still drives, you don’t want him driving while tired. It can also lead to other medical problems like heart disease or stroke. It’s important for your dad to see a doctor to see if he has sleep apnea.
How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?
A sleep study is usually required to diagnose sleep apnea. In the test, your dad spends a night in a clinic where he is hooked up to medical devices that watch what happens when he’s sleeping. The devices usually get an EEG and EKG that studies brain patterns and heart activity while he sleeps. His oxygen levels and leg and arm movements are also recorded.
Sometimes, the studies can be performed at home. Your dad’s doctor will help him decide what works best for his needs and comfort level.
What Happens if He is Diagnosed With Sleep Apnea?
If sleep apnea is diagnosed, your dad may need to use a CPAP device when he sleeps. This device pushes air into the airway to make sure the tissue does not collapse and block the airway. It’s best to add heated humidity to the CPAP machine so that the throat and sinuses do not dry out.
Not every senior citizen likes the CPAP mask and machine. Your dad may be offered a surgical solution instead. Surgically straightening the nasal septum is one option. The surgical removal of excess tissue from the throat is most common. There are several other surgeries that might help. Your dad’s doctor will discuss his options and decide on the best course of treatment.
With a surgical procedure, your dad will need some help while he recovers. If he can’t drive, he needs someone to drive him to stores, follow-up appointments, and pharmacies. Home care professionals offer transportation services. They also can cook meals, remind your dad when it’s time to take medications, and help with light housework. Learn more by calling a home care agency.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring homecare in Anaheim, CA, contact the caring staff at No Place Like Home Homecare today at 951-382-5266.