Know if You Have Sleep Apnea and Treat it Urgently
The meaning of sleep apnea is simple to understand if you know the meaning of apnea. Apnea means suspension of breathing and when it occurs during sleep the condition is called sleep apnea. It is quite common and the pauses in breathing may one or multiple, and even there may be shallow breaths instead of total suspension. The breath can be suspended for a few seconds or even for some minutes. It can take place 30 or more times in an hour. Usually after such a break, normal breath starts once again, with a choking sound or loud snort. Are you suffering from such a condition? If yes, you may want to know if there is any sleep apnea treatment. Let’s study more about the condition.
What Happens Due to Sleep Apnea?
Typically sleep apnea is a chronic disorder and your sleep is disturbed due to this condition. When you stop breathing or take shallow breaths, your deep sleep is turned into light sleep. Because of this, the quality of your sleep is poor, and you feel tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the major causes of daytime sleepiness.
Sleep apnea is a condition about which the sufferer herself/himself cannot know since s/he is asleep and so, it remains undetected most of the times. Even doctors cannot detect it during the usual office visits. Moreover, there are no blood tests available to detect this condition. Only a bed partner or other family member can know that you are suffering from this condition.
Daytime sleepiness can be considered as one of the main symptoms of sleep apnea and if it occurs in you, you should get yourself checked for the condition, because if sleep apnea remains untreated, it can:
- Elevate the risk of diseases like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, diabetes and obesity
- Elevate the risk of, or aggravate, heart failure
- Increase incidences of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats)
- Increase the risk of driving or work-related accidents (due to sleep while doing these tasks)
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The commonest type of condition is obstructive sleep apnea that is caused when the airway collapses during the sleep or gets blocked. This results in suspension in breathing or shallow breathing. In such a condition, when you try to breathe forcibly, the air tries to squeeze past the obstruction and creates a loud noise. Normally this type of sleep apnea occurs in overweight people, but can occur in anyone. For example, children with enlarged tonsils may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
Central Sleep Apnea
This is a less common type of the condition. It occurs when brain tissues that control breathing don’t send the right instructions to your breathing muscles. Due to this, there is no effort of breathing done for brief intervals.
This type of sleep apnea can occur in anyone. But it is more common in those who have a medical condition or are using some medicines. It can occur with obstructive sleep apnea or individually. Normally central sleep apnea doesn’t cause snoring.
Sleep apnea being a chronic condition needs long-term treatment, which includes changes in lifestyle, surgery, breathing devices, CPAP machine and mouthpieces. These can treat the condition effectively in several people.