An Overview On Sleep Apnea - Causes & Symptoms
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder where a person stops breathing involuntarily. Such repeated pauses occur during the night, leading to disrupted and poor quality sleep.
A study conducted in 2015 reveals that nearly 93% of Indians are sleep-deprived. And according to the Economic Times of India, 50 million people suffer from sleep apnea in India. And there's a high number of undiagnosed people.
Sleep apnea symptoms are similar to other medical conditions, making them difficult to diagnose. You might suffer from sleep apnea if you snore loudly and feel tired even after a whole night of sleep. It’s critical to consult an expert who can accurately diagnose the problem and devise an effective treatment plan.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
In simple terms, sleep apnea is a condition in which one stops breathing periodically during sleep, causing one to snore or choke. The body doesn’t get the oxygen that it typically would in a breath and therefore the person wakes up abruptly gasping for air. It is a common yet serious condition where the airway gets blocked, negatively impacting one’s health.
What are the 4 signs of sleep apnea?
1. You Are a Noisy Sleeper
Snoring, snorting, gagging, or loud sleep is an alarming sign that your upper airway is blocked. Not all snorers have sleep apnea, but the two are often interrelated.
As snoring gets louder, the odds of having sleep apnea are more likely. If you have apnea, your partner might notice if you choke or gasp while snoring to determine sleep apnea. These symptoms can recur many times during sleep.
2. You Are Uneasy During Sleep
People with sleep apnea frequently change sleep positions and display signs of an uneasy night of sleep. This poor quality of sleep has many effects on your health.
3. You Are Always Exhausted
If you get sufficient hours of sleep and still feel fatigued during the day, sleep apnea may be affecting your sleep quality. You might even find yourself catching the flu since poor quality sleep can weaken the immune system.
4. Having Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
People who have risk factors for sleep apnea are at the highest risk of developing a sleep disorder.
Risk Factors For Sleep Apnea
Being Overweight: Obesity puts you at a high risk of developing sleep apnea. Fat accumulated around your upper airways in your face and neck area tend to obstruct breathing.
Neck Circumference: Having a thick neck can cause you to have narrower airways.
Being a Male: Sleep apnea is more common in men than in women. Inherent differences in fat distribution, hormones, upper airway anatomy, breathing control, and aging suggest why men are more prone to sleep apnea than women.
Family History: Sleep apnea is about 40 percent attributed to genetics, meaning the condition can be hereditary.
Alcohol Consumption: Drinking alcohol relaxes the muscles in your stomach and throat, leading to the weakening of the upper airway.
Smoking Tobacco: Smoking cigarettes can put you at a high risk of developing sleep apnea and worsen its severity.
Aging: According to the study published by the American Thoracic Society, the prevalence of sleep apnea was highest in older adults.
Nasal Congestion: Trouble breathing through your nose can cause you to develop sleep apnea. It can occur due to anatomical problems or allergies.
How do you fix sleep apnea?
If you identify any of these warning signs, speak to your doctor. Sleep therapy can help those suffering from sleep apnea to breathe better.
For mild cases of sleep apnea, your doctor will recommend lifestyle modifications, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and drinking less. If you have nasal allergies, your doctor can advise treatment including medications or surgery.
In addition to lifestyle changes, most people with sleep apnea will need a medical device that helps to keep the airways open during sleep. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy is the most effective treatment for mild to severe sleep apnea.
Different Types of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea - An intermittent obstruction of the upper airway occurs while sleeping. When this happens, the diaphragm and chest muscles work hard to open the airways.
Breathing usually restarts with a loud gasp or body jerk. These outbreaks can prevent sound sleep, lower oxygen flow to essential organs, and induce heart rhythm irregularities.
Central Sleep Apnea - Airway obstruction occurs when the brain fails to instruct the muscles to breathe. Central apnea corresponds to the function of the central nervous system.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome - Also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, this occurs when a person has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea at the same time.
Does sleep apnea go away?
Losing weight, quitting smoking, and making a few other lifestyle changes can help you breathe better while sleeping. Sleep apnea machines like CPAP are the most effective therapy solution. These machines provide a continuous supply of air at a higher pressure to keep the airways open while you sleep. The devices reduce brief breathing interruptions and allow you to get quality sleep.
If you are looking for an FDA-approved, premium CPAP device, then Sanrai is the best place to be. We offer a wide variety of high-quality devices to help you breathe better.