Sleep Apnea, Symptoms, Effects, Risk factors, Home Treatment

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that takes place when a person’s breathing is disturbed in the course of sleep. In this condition a person stops breathing repetitively that means the body and the brain may not have sufficient oxygen.

Types of sleep apnea

There are two most common types of this disorder and they are as follows:

  • Central sleep apnea

Due to the variability in the respiratory control centre brain fails to send signals to the muscles to breathe.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

During sleep soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses which causes blockage of the airways.

Risk factors :

  • Being overweight
  • Being male
  • Having a large neck size
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Large tonsils, a large tongue or a small jaw
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Being over age 40
  • Nasal obstruction

Effects :

  • A headache
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Heart attacks, irregular heartbeat
  • Worsening of ADHD
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Poor performance in daily activities

Sleep apnea Symptoms:

  • Waking up with a sore throat or dry throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Restless sleep
  • Lack of energy throughout the day
  • Sleepiness during driving
  • Loud snoring
  • Mood changes
  • Occasionally waking up with gasping sensation
  • Forgetfulness

Sleep Aapnea Diagnosis and tests:

If you are having this disorder then you must see a doctor and ask him to have a test of sleep apnea. A test known as Polysomnogram can be done at home or sleep apnea centre. It is a sleep study test which electronically records your activities during your sleep. In this test, you may be assigned a separate bedroom in the centre and there will be a monitoring area where the technicians observe the patients. This may be a little uncomfortable but can fall asleep with some difficulty. Surface electrodes will be put on the face and scalp which records signals generated by brain and muscle activity.

Other tests for sleep apnea are ECG (electroencephalogram), EMG (electromyogram), EOG (electrooculogram), snore microphone, nasal airflow sensor.

Sleep Apnea Home Treatment :

You may start treating this condition at your home also by including some lifestyle changes like:

  • Weight loss
  • Avoiding sleeping on your back
  • Stop smoking
  • Changing sleeping positions to improve breathing
  • Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills

Sleep Apnea Treatment

  • Surgery for sleep apnea
  • Dental devices
  • CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure)

The common types of surgeries for sleep apnea are nasal surgery, UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty), mandibular maxillomandibular advancement surgery.

There is no need to get panic if you are having some of the above symptoms. Visit a doctor to treat your sleep apnea disorder and you will be fit and fine. Hope you find this article useful.

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