Sleep apnea literally means sleeping without breath. The condition is as common as adult diabetes and affects more than 12 million Americans. Three types of apnea include central, obstructive and mixed. A person suffering from sleep apnea repeatedly stops breathing during sleep, and begins shouting shortly to breathe again. This pattern with difficulty breathing leads to lower oxygen in the blood, a higher amount of carbon dioxide, fragmented sleep and contributes to other health problems, including headache, obesity and more.
Causes of sleep apnea - In central sleep apnea, the brain does not send the signal to the muscles to breathe. In obstructive sleep apnea, the tissue falls on the back of the throat and prevents respiration from occurring. In cases where a person suffers from mixed sleep apnea, they experience a mixture of the two different types.
Obese men over 40 years have the highest risk of sleep apnea, but it may affect all inclusive children. In children, the condition can be treated by removing tonsils and adenoids. Many who suffer from sleep apnea are diagnosed due to lack of awareness among many healthcare professionals and general knowledge about sleep disturbance.
Obstructive sleep apnea is related to enlarged tissue in the throat area. The expanded area of ??soft tissue collapses and blocks the passage of the air through the throat. Some doctors suggest that weight loss can alleviate some of the problems associated with excessive tissue and that surgery to remove excess tissue can be an option if more non-invasive methods fail in the treatment of sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea is distinct because it is neurologically based. The brain fails to send the correct messages to the muscles that control the breathing of the spirit. CSA may be related to stroke, brain injury, encephalitis, neurological diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's), cervical lesions or complications from surgery.
Untreated sleep apnea leads to a range of health problems including (but not limited to) high blood pressure, memory problems, impotence, headache and weight gain. Headache associated with apnea usually occurs during awakening and is associated with oxygen deficiency suffered during sleep.
Symptoms of sleep apnea - Parents and partners are often the ones who notice the dramatic symptoms associated with sleep apnea first. The most obnoxious symptom associated with sleep disturbance is loud, pronounced snoring that is spread with gasping for air. When the throat collapses during an episode, the body will go without air for a second or two until it wakes and forcing the neck open for breath. This raising noise increases the snare level. Sickness, like headaches or flu, can increase the frequency of episodes. A person may suffer from dozens of episodes one night, but remember to wake up once or twice, even though their natural sleep patterns and rhythms are disturbed.
When you wake up in the morning, a person with sleep apnea often feels tired and disoriented. They will have headache and pain in the throat. It may take them longer than usual to get started on the day and the sense of sleep will continue through the daylight. This happens because the body goes through five steps in sleep. The body needs the five different stages, but sleep apnea episodes will reduce their duration, which prevents the deeper stages of sleep due to constant excitement to breathe.
A person with sleep apnea never gets a sleepy night and begins to show symptoms of sleep deprivation. In some cases, where the apnea goes untreated for several years at a time, permanent sleep deprivation may impair work ability, social interactions, weight loss and more. While sleep apnea can be treated, one can know if the problem is physical (obstructive) or neurological (central) or a combination (mixed) can help a doctor diagnose and treat the root causes as well as the actual apnea.
If you or someone you care about suspects that you are suffering from sleep apnea, see your doctor for careful diagnosis and treatment.