The Stages of Sleep Apnea: Is Treatment Necessary?

The Stages of Sleep Apnea: Is Treatment Necessary?

Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleeping disorders in the world. However, there are varying stages of sleep apnea that may or may not require treatment. Full-staged sleep apnea is a very serious disorder that can have detrimental effects on your health, but what about the beginning stages? What is involved, and what can you do to help?

The Beginning Stages of Sleep Apnea

The first stage of sleep apnea is benign snoring. While benign snoring typically has no bad health effects and typically goes unnoticed, you should pay attention that it does not develop to the point of loud snoring or snoring that interrupts your sleep.

The second stage of sleep apnea is Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). While UARS is considered the second stage of sleep apnea, not everyone with UARS snores. Some people just experience deep breathing with difficulty. At this stage, your sleep is being interrupted. While people with UARS are not typically overweight like many people with full-fledged sleep apnea may be, it still causes bad health effects.

Final Stages of Sleep Apnea

At this point, you may be experiencing anything between 5 and 30 interruptions in breathing per hour during the night. It can be extremely disruptive for your sleep schedule and take a toll on the rest of your body. At this point, treatment is necessary if you want to maintain your health.

If untreated, UARS will eventually develop into sleep apnea. At this stage, a patient would not qualify for a CPAP machine, but they can still treat the syndrome with lifestyle changes and an oral appliance that may help them sleep more soundly.