Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder. In this condition, a patient’s breathing interrupts while they are sleeping. The pauses in breathing can last up to 10 to 30 seconds. A patient could stop breathing up to 400 times during the night. Getting restless sleep during the night leads to the patient feeling tired the next day. They could not concentrate on their work or study. If you think you have sleep apnea ten checks with a doctor soon.
There are three main types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea:
OSA or Obstructive Sleep apnea is the most common type of three. The major reason for this sleep apnea is due to tissues present in the windpipe. The soft tissue at the back of our throat blocks the passage through which air passes. This causes a person to snore and stop breathing for a few seconds before starting to breathe again. Many people might feel embarrassed to confess about their snoring problem to doctors. This is because they even think it is not common for a person to snore in sleep. Meanwhile, if you ignore the problem, then it can lead to major health issues. Hypertension, heart disease, etc. are a few health issues which can lead to this problem.
Central sleep apnea:
The muscles controlling our breathing, fail to send signals to the brain causes CSA. Even though this kind of sleep apnea is not common, it can still affect a person of any age. The patients of central sleep apnea do not snore as much a patient of OSA. This is due to the involvement of the central nervous system, which makes it more dangerous. Central Sleep Apnea is rare as it only occurs due to other health-related issues like heart failure, stroke, etc. CSA can also happen to a patient who is sleeping at high altitude.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome:
When a person shows both prominent symptoms, OSA and CSA, then it could lead to Complex Sleep Apnea. Another name for this condition is treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
There is a list of symptoms which determines a person is suffering from sleep apnea. Since both of the sleep apneas shows the same signs and symptoms, it is hard to determine which one you might be suffering from. Here are a few symptoms that are common in both OSA and CSA:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Morning headache
- Dry mouth while waking up
When another person staying with you informs that, you stop breathing for a few seconds while you were sleeping.
Sleep apnea is a condition that can affect any person, irrespective of their age and gender. If a person is sure that they suffer from sleep apnea, they can definitely try some home sleep apnea test, to be sure of their condition. But, the family should advise them to visit the doctor and get the help they need at the soonest.
The process of home sleep apnea test includes monitoring the breathing of the patient while they are in sleep. The test kits are available with physicians and online as well. The physicians would recommend using a home sleep apnea test that has sensors to monitor your breathing pattern, heart rate, and blood oxygen level. However, the patients should keep in mind that the testing kid is only for those who have Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The patients should not have any other severe medical condition, because if they do, the testing at home will do more harm than good.
The patients who are suffering from other sleep disorders should not opt for a home testing kit. If the patients suffer from severe health-related issues such as pulmonary disease, neuromuscular disease, and or congestive heart failure, it would be a better option to opt for an in-lab sleep study.
As during this study, the patient would be under the monitor of experienced professionals, and it would provide the doctors with a complete evaluation of the patient’s sleep and their condition.
Causes of sleep apnea:
There are various reasons, which can cause sleep apnea. The factors that are responsible for OSA might differ from the reasons responsible for CSA. So if you are showing any of the symptoms, approaching a physician necessary.
Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea might include, but not limited to,
- Excessive weight causes the fat deposit to block the upper airway causing breathing to stop.
- Family history of having a narrow throat or the enlargement of tonsils or adenoids could also be the reason for blocked airway. This condition is often seen in children.
- OSA is also common in people who use alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers, as these worsen the condition of sleep apnea.
- Old age might be another cause of OSA. Reports also show that men are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea as compared to women.
Causes of Central Sleep Apnea might include, but not limited to,
- Along with old age and being a male, various heart disorders might be one of many factors of CSA.
- Use of narcotic pain medication on a long-term basis could lead a person to suffer from Central Sleep Apnea.
- If you have had a stroke, there might be a chance that you might suffer from CSA.
Although the OSA can be monitored with home sleep apnea tests, just as the physicians advise, health risks that come with central sleep apnea are very high. So, if the physicians advise a person with CSA to go under some monitoring in a lab, they should take upon the advice and prepare for the tests.
Health complications that come with sleep apnea:
Numerous health complications might be the result of sleep apnea. Taking a home sleep apnea tests to monitor the condition and getting treatment to solve might be an easy and cost-effective way for some time. However, these tests do not promise a long-term effect.
Some of the health complications that a person might face with sleep apnea are:
When a person suffers from sleep apnea, they do not get enough rest during the night. So naturally, they would feel tired and sleepy during the daytime. It affects their work, study, and they become moody. It might also lead to major road accidents when the person is driving their vehicle.
High blood pressure:
When a person suffers from sleep apnea, the blood oxygen level drops while they sleep. This leads to rising blood pressure. So if the person is already a victim of high blood pressure, this rise would lead them to have heart problems.
Along with these, other complications might include type 2 diabetes, liver problems, etc.
The treatment procedure for sleep apnea normally includes therapies like Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common among the treatment procedures.
Other treatment methods include;
- Oral appliances
- Surgery to remove or shrink the tissue at the rear of the patients’ mouth
- Jaw repositioning
- Nerve stimulation, etc.
Your physician would suggest the kind of treatment you need, depending upon your age and severity of the condition.