Sleep Apnea 101

Sleep ApneaSleep Apnea is one of the many types of sleep disorders. It happens when your breathing is disrupted during sleep.A person who has a sleeping disorder sleeps poorly because they stop breathing many times during the night. It is associated with snoring and ongoing fatigue, even when you have had a complete night’s sleep.


There are three types of Sleep Apnea:


Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The most common type of Sleep Apnea. The throat muscles relax while sleeping, and blocking the air passages. Usually, people who are overweight and have excessive suffers from this type of disorder. The tissues in the back of your throat that relaxes during sleep, blocking off your airway causing you to stop breathing. You usually don’t remember waking up. This pattern can happen all night, up to 30 times per hour or more. You don’t get enough sleep and you easily become tired during the day because you don’t remember waking up at night believing you have slept well.


Central Sleep Apnea

Happens when the brain fails to send signals to the breathing muscles and you stop sleeping. This can lead to having problems getting to sleep or staying sleeping throughout the night.


Complex Sleep Apnea

This occurs when you have a combination of Central Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.


Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

The signs and symptoms of the two major types often overlap so it may be hard to tell what kind of sleep apnea you have. The major signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Irritability during the day
  • Snoring loudly, especially in obstructive Sleep Apnea.
  • Stops breathing at the night
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Excessive sleepiness in the daytime
  • Problems maintaining attention during the day
  • Waking up with having a sore throat or a dry mouth
  • Having problems with insomnia


Risk Factors For Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea can happen to anyone at any age, including children. The top risk factors for developing the disorder include the following:

  • Being overweight
  • Having a thicker neck
  • Your gender
  • Your age
  • You have a family history
  • Drinking Alcohol or Taking Sedatives
  • Being a smoker
  • Having nasal congestion


Treatment Of Sleep Apnea

If you have mild Sleep Apnea, it’s highly advisable to quit smoking, take allergy medication or lose weight to improve your symptoms.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), is the main treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea. It is a device that is placed over your nose during sleep that delivers air to the air passages, keeping them open all the time. In some cases, the CPAP does not work and you need surgery.

Surgery involves taking away some of the excess tissue in the back of the mouth and on the soft palate. Other types of surgery for sleep apnea include repositioning the jaw or putting in plastic rods in the soft palate.

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that requires long-term management. Lifestyle change, surgery, mouthpieces, and breathing devices that can successfully treat sleep apnea in many people.

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