What is Sleep Apnea?
To explain in simple terms, Sleep apnea is a severe disorder that obstructs a good night’s sleep. It occurs when a person is not able to breathe properly during the sleep. These involuntary cessations in breathing occur from a few seconds to a minute and can occur 30 or more times in an hour.
Sleep Apnea Facts
- It is common for both genders. However, men are affected more by this sleep disorder.
- One in five adults suffers from mild OSA.
- One in fifteen adults suffers from severe OSA.
- From 70 % to 75% cases go unnoticed and undiagnosed.
- 25 % to 35 % of middle-aged men suffer from OSA.
- Sleep apnea also occurs in children mainly due to tonsils.
How serious is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea not only disturbs your sleep but also impacts the breathing. It may pause your breathing from a few seconds to a minute and in some cases to 30 or more times in an hour during the sleep. As you wake up multiple times at night, you won’t be able to achieve a deep state of sleep. Although initially, it may appear mere sleep disturbance, over time it may turn a serious disorder and can cause stroke and severe heart diseases. If left untreated, Sleep Apnea leads to increased risk of:
- Cardiovascular Disease and heart attacks
- High Blood Pressure
- Increased risk of being involved in a deadly motor vehicle accident
- Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
- Fluctuating oxygen levels
- Impaired concentration
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This is the most common type of apnea. Any blockage in the airway, throat or nasal path triggers causes this condition. Throat has soft tissues. Sometimes, it collapses when you sleep and causes loud snoring and pause breathing multiple times.
There is another rare scenario of OSA when people develop skull and facial bones. It causes a large tongue and small mouth, leading to OSA.
Central Sleep Apnea
It is caused by the inability of the respiratory control or poor respiratory functions. The brain is the communicative channel for the whole body, it’s your brain that decides the functioning of each and every organ. When the brain fails to send a signal to the muscles that control your breathing cycles, you start encountering the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Complex Sleep Apnea
This type of apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea. It is a combined effect of both the damaged soft tissues of your throat and the lack of signals from the brain cells.
The major problem with this condition it often goes unnoticed until turns severe. In fact, according to a research report, adult’s prevalence of sleep apnea, especially OSA ranges between 9.3-13.5% in India. The sufferer is unable to realize that he or she suffer from the sleep disorder for most of their lifetime. In most of the cases, it is witnessed by a friend or spouse or family member.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
There are mainly few things that cause this disorder. As stated above, blockage in the throat, airway, and respiratory system cause sleep apnea. Poor functioning of the muscles in the respiratory system (sinus, nasal path, throat, and mouth) obstructs proper berating.
- Aging is one of the primary reasons for sleep apnea. It occurs commonly in older men.
- Risk of this condition proportionately increases with obesity.
- Alcohol causes temporary sedation and generally interferes with the sleep routine.
- Certain medications which come with sedative effects or sleeping pills leads to sleep apnea upon prolonged use.
- Family history also becomes a cause of sleep disorder. People born with a small jaw bone are naturally prone to sleep apnea as they age.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
People often do not connect with sleepy feeling during the day with apnea. Snoring makes an important symptom of sleep apnea (for which you can visit the best doctors for snoring treatment in Lucknow at Midland).
However, sleep apnea is more serious than snoring.
Some of the common signs and symptoms include the following:
- Tiredness, exhausted feeling the whole day
- Poor concentration and cognitive ability
- Frequent urination at night
- Gasping and choking during sleep
- Elevated blood pressure
- Dry mouth or a sore throat upon awakening
- Mood swings
- Sexual dysfunction
Complications of Sleep Apnea
Lack of sufficient sleep makes you tired and exhausted. Over time, it affects your wellbeing and invites unwanted complications.
People who don’t sleep well develop various mental disorders due to imbalance. Depression and anxiety are commonly diagnosed in sleep apnea sufferers.
More than 60 percent of stroke patients suffered from OSA.
Obesity is a major cause of type 2 diabetes. Eventually, sleep apnea triggers diabetes, an autoimmune condition.
OSA in middle-aged men suffers from low testosterone, poor libido, and erectile dysfunction.
Treatment options available for sleep apnea
While sleep apnea is a serious condition, you can find some good places for sleep apnea treatment in India and if you are in U.P., you can find best doctors at Midland Healthcare & Research Center for the sleep apnea treatment in Lucknow. Here are few common treatment options available out there-
CPAP Mask – Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure
CPAP mask is the mainstream treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It enables the upper airway paths open and supports uninterrupted breathing.
Oral Breathing Device
There are many breathing devices available in the marketplace. It clears the nasal and airway passages for easy breathing. In case of a blockage in the nasal passage, you can use nasal dilators. To control snoring, anti snoring mouthpiece helps.
Sometimes, surgery becomes necessary to open the blocked airway.
Change of lifestyle helps you better than other treatment options. In fact, it makes a permanent solution for sleep apnea.
Losing weight, developing healthy sleep – wake up routine, healthy eating, being active is the few things that can dramatically treat apnea.
Just like food, air and water sleep is essential for good health and well-being of an individual. Lack of sleep is a major culprit and it leads to a lot of health complications. So if you are facing any of the above-stated issues, you need to book an appointment to get it treated immediately.