Sleep apnea means that the person's breathing can stop while they are asleep. It can happen because their throat and tongue muscles will be more relaxed during sleep and the soft tissue can end up causing the airway to be blocked. This condition can be fatal and should be taken seriously. Someone with sleep apnea will be directed to begin using a CPAP machine by their physicians. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. A CPAP machine works by increasing the air pressure that is in someone's throat, so their airway won't collapse when they breathe in while they are sleeping. You can learn more about sleep apnea and CPAP machines here: 

Some common symptoms of sleep apnea

The symptoms that one person experiences with sleep apnea may not be the exact same ones as someone else. However, they will generally have some of them in common. Some of the more commonly seen symptoms of sleep apnea can include:

  • Frequent and loud snoring

  • Suddenly waking up feeling startled

  • Another person noticing long periods of not breathing while sleeping

  • Waking up choking

  • Experiencing a dry mouth upon waking

  • Experiencing a sore throat upon waking that quickly goes away

  • Headaches upon waking

  • Regular bouts of fatigue

Some different types of CPAP machines

A CPAP machine is a machine that sits by your bedside and plugs in. It can also have a battery backup in case something were to happen to the power while you are sleeping. The machine has a hose that leads to a piece that you will wear while you are asleep. As stated above, the machine will increase the air pressure in your throat and prevent it from collapsing so you stop breathing. There are different types of CPAP machines, so you can choose one that you find to be your best option. 

A Nasal Pillow — A nasal pillow CPAP is not actually a pillow. It is a lightweight CPAP machine that is also compact and it goes slightly into the nostrils. 

A Nasal Mask — A nasal mask has a nasal covering that has a triangular shape to it. These come in different sizes, to accommodate different shapes and sizes of noses.  

A Full Face Mask CPAP — A full face mask CPAP is different from both the above options because it doesn't just cover your nostrils or your nose, but it will seal all the way around your nose and mouth.