What is Sleep Apnea and Who Does It Affect?

What is Sleep Apnea and Who Does It Affect?

The normal breathing pattern of people who are suffering from this condition gets interrupted frequentlyas these people stop breathing several times or sometimes more than a hundred times, while in their sleep. This means that their brain and other body parts get deprived of enough oxygen and this could have some serious results.

The Two Categories of Sleep Apnea Disorder

There are two existing types of this disorder and they are:

  1. Central sleep apnea –It is caused by the brain’s failure to control respiratory muscles which is caused when there is instability at the breathing control center.
  2. Obstructive sleep apnea – This isthe most common of the two types of apnea. It occurs when the air passage gets blocked as a result of the collapsing of a soft tissue located at the throat’s back.

Effects of Apnea Disorder

If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can have some gruesome effects on one’s general health. Some of which include:

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure, heart attacks, and irregular pulsing of the heart beats
  • It worsens the state of ADHD patients
  • Affects the overall performance of the patients’ activities and can also be the cause of academic underachievement especially in adolescents and children

Who is at Risk and What Are the Risk Factors?

Sleep apnea affects persons of any age including children. However, there are risk factors that increase the chances of one suffering from it. They include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being male
  • Nasal obstruction as a result of sinus problems, allergies, or a septum that has deviated
  • People with large tonsils
  • Possessing a tongue that’s large or a jaw bone that’s small
  • Being born in a family with a history of apnea
  • Having a neck size that is 16 inches plus in women and 17 inches plus in men
  • Being past the age of 40

8 Common Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Listed below is the 8 common signs that may suggest an individual is suffering from sleep apnea:

  1. Morning headaches
  2. Loud snoring
  3. Restless sleep
  4. Insomnia or recurrent awakenings
  5. Having a dry or a sore throat each time you wake up
  6. Waking up from sleep occasionally with a gasping or choking sensation
  7. Sleepiness during daytime or while driving
  8. Forgetfulness and mood changes

It’s Diagnosis

People who have shown these symptoms are encouraged to go for a test known as polysomnogram which is a sleep study that involves the recording of specific body activities as you sleep. A certified sleep specialist is then given the recordings to analyze and he or she is the one to determine if you are suffering from any sleep disorder or not.

If you test positive for sleep apnea, you’ll be requested to undertake further sleep tests so as to determine which treatment option is the best for you.

Harmony Dental Care is a facility located in Oshawa, ON, Canada, that is well equipped with both medical tools and practitioners to better its diagnosis and treatment for apnea disorders. They also offer a myriad of dental services and their dentists in Oshawa are well respected in the communityfor their expertise.

Sleep Apnea Cures

Mild apnea conditions can be treated by changing some lifestyles. Doctors may suggest that you:

  • Change your sleeping position to improve your breathing while you sleep.
  • Lose weight.
  • Do not use sleeping pills and alcohol.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking causes the swelling of the upper airway making both apnea and snoring worse.

CPAP for Snoring

Continuous positive airway pressure, also known as CPAP, is used in the treatment of sleep apnea and involves wearing a special mask over the mouth or nose while sleeping. This special mask is linked to a special machine that is designed to deliver constant air flow into the nose. This ensures that the air passage is open at all times enabling you to breathe just as normal as you should. Bi-level positive airway pressure, BPAP, and CPAP, are similar, the only difference is that with BPAP, there is change in airflow when one inhales and exhales.

Surgery to Stop Snoring

Surgery is only needed if a patient has a medical problem that makes their throat very narrow. Enlarged tonsils or a septum that has deviated, are some of these medical problems.

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