As rightly quoted by Thomas Dekker, “Sleep is the golden chain that binds health and our bodies together.” Sleep is the most important routine of our daily lives and if we are unable to sleep that ample amount of time, the next day turns out to be worse. Insomnia is one of such sleep disorders which tend to break the balance and the schedule of the day to day life. In the same way, sleep apnea is a silent killer. the cause of death can be registered as heart attack, but the real cause can be sleep apnea. let’s find out what this menace is.
Sleep disorders could be highly threatening. And one of such disorders is Sleep Apnea. This form of disorder can lead to frequent pause of breath at regular intervals. There is no limit to the age that gets attacked by this form of the disorder. Regardless of the age, both men and women can suffer from such a disorder. Not only this, the study states that sleep apnea is also quite common among children. Having sleep apnea can increase many health complications which might turn out to be life-threatening. It is highly important to understand the context and know what is the real reason for the cause of such a risky disorder.
Table of Contents
Overview: Sleep Apnea
Also known as sleep apnea, this form of sleep disorder occurs during sleep where there is a continuous interruption in the breathing of the person. If not treated on time at the initial stage, it might even happen that the person suffering from sleep apnea may face constant shallow of breathing. The cause of this at a regular interval may lack the body as well as the brain to gain the amount of oxygen required for the proper functioning of the body.
Types of Sleep Apnea –
There are basically two different types of sleep apnea which are categorized as follows –
- Central Sleep Apnea
This form of sleep disorder occurs where the brain fails to uninterrupted signals to the muscles. This further leads to problems in breathing where the condition of the respiratory tract becomes unstable
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
One of the most common forms of sleep disorder, mostly found in patients where the throat relaxes more. This means that a blockage in the airway is caused which results in the collapsing of the soft tissues at the back of the throat. This procedure leads to the disturbance in sleep causing OSA.
Another form of sleep disorder which has been discovered by the doctors is Complex sleep apnea syndrome. To be precise enough, the condition of this sleep disorder has the symptoms of both OSA and CSA.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
The general symptoms of sleep apnea are many. The conditions vary from person to person who is suffering from the disorder. One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring. Though it is not a compulsion that people who snore will be attacked by such a sleep disorder. There are other common causes that lead to sleep apnea.
Other sleep apnea symptoms are:
- Snoring loudly
- After a sleep headache
- Immensely sleeping during the daytime
- Impaired vision
- Less concentration power
- Low Stamina
- Excessive fatigue
- Choking sounds while sleeping
- Mood swings
- Breathing stops during sleep which are observed by the other person
The Cause of Central Sleep Apnea
- The derivement of the same of the disorder is from the Central Nervous System. This is so because the central nervous system is the main part of the body that conducts the regulation functioning of the entire body.
- The main cause of central sleep apnea, as mentioned above is that the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles.
- Due to which there is a blockage caused in the respiratory tract which is the main controlling center for the functioning of the body.
- For such unstable conditions, there can be a breakdown in the nervous system resulting in dysfunctioning or the patient might even suffer from a stroke.
- Another most important factor leading to central sleep apnea is when a patient is suffering from heart-related problems.
The Cause of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- As mentioned above, the main cause of obstructive sleep apnea is where there is a blockage in the airway that results in throat blocking.
- Just when the throat muscles are started to get relaxed, the soft tissue at the back of the throat tends to relax. This results in narrowing the pathway for the airway.
- Whether the person is breathing from the nose or mouth, the airway keeps getting narrower that puts a halt in breathing or cuts off breathing for some time.
- The feeling of gasping occurs where the person suffering from such sleep disorders faces disturbance in sleep and shallow breathing.
- After the sudden commotion, the airway tends to make its passage and the entire functioning of the body is back to normalcy.
- Though the condition of the blockage might occur, numerous number of time during sleeping which completely disturbs the cycle of sleep.
- It is said that people who snore tend to face the symptoms of OSA. But again, not all people who snore have sleep disorders.
Is sleep disorder only targeted among adults?
- The answer to this is NO! sleep apnea can occur to anyone including men, women as well as children. Study and statistics prove that men are more prone to this problem and tend to gain the disorder post the age of forty.
- They tend to gain excessive weight which serves as a huge risk.
- Apart from that, there are other factors too that explains the size of the neck getting larger. For men, the size of the neck could be 17 inches or even more while on the other hand, the size of the neck of the women 16 inches or greater than that.
- Blockage of the tissues might lead to large tonsils which tends to be highly risky. The condition of sleep apnea can happen to only one in a family but is known to have the connections in the genes.
Why do you need to visit a doctor and when?
- The conditions and symptoms of sleep apnea can only be diagnosed by a professional doctor. If you are having the primary feeling of being affected by sleep apnea, without any second thoughts visit the doctor as soon as possible.
- Your doctor will be conducting certain test related to your sleep and will perform a thorough checkup of your body. The conduction of the test is known to be as the Multiple Sleep Latency Test. It is an electronic test which keenly monitors your heart rate, muscle activity when you are asleep as well as breathing conditions.
- Just when all the keen observations are done by the doctor, she/he will thoroughly go through all the necessary conditions and will come to the conclusion whether you are a patient of sleep apnea. The doctor is going to provide you with the further necessary steps to treat your sleep disorder.
Complications caused due to sleep apnea
Mostly caused by OSA, due to the drop in oxygen levels causing sleep apnea, there are higher chances of having high blood pressure. Increasing heartbeats might even lead to a stroke or heart attack.
- People who are prone to sleep apnea tend to have irregular functioning of the liver. This tends to cause liver problems in the body.
- Also due to this sleep disorder, there are mood swings and irregular sleeping sickness. Due to the abnormal function of the body, it might also lead to type 2 diabetes.
- People who are getting insomnia are more prone to irritability, drowsiness, morning sickness as well as gaining daytime fatigue.
- The metabolic system of the body also faces abnormality. There might be high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar, higher risk of heart diseases as well.
Can you get away well if sleep apnea is left untreated?
If sleep apnea is left untreated there might be huge complications related to your body. People who are facing the obstructive sleep apnea might be prone to higher risks. High cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and excess weight gain are some of the most common factors. Not only this, intake of alcohol or related things might increase the risk of functionalities of the body. It is rather advised to take care of the heal the visit the professional in concern before the thing worsens.
Is there any complication in losing your life?
If you do not tend to treat sleep apnea at an early stage, there are too many complications which might arise later. The main factor is that the entire functioning of the body is getting disturbed due to the lack of sleep or shallow breathing. Heart diseases are very much life-threatening. Thre might be issues where due to sleep apnea you can have the stroke or even die in your sleep. To prevent yourself from such complications, it is always advised to seek the help of the experts as well as know some of the home remedies that would work the best for you.
Cure of sleep apnea
1. One of the most common forms of treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This is a kind of machine that completely covers your mouth and nose just like a mask. With the help of the machine, you will be able to inhale constant flow of air in your nostrils. Thus, you will not have to face the problem of the narrowing of the airway and shallow breathing. The impaired breathing is let open leading you to a good night’s sleep.
2. Another source of the machine for the cure of sleep apnea is the use of machines or devices related to the dental. The designing of the devices is done in such a way that there will be fewer chances of the airway to get blocked or narrower. This leads you to inhale air without any disturbances. Forgetting the same, you need to consult with the professional expert who will customize the device as per your size which will be highly beneficial for you.
3. If you are still not willing to stick to the above treatments for sleep apnea, you can easily take the initiative to cure it yourself. Transform yourself. Change your lifestyle, follow a proper diet and schedule, quit the use of alcohol or other related sedatives as well as go for regular checkups to the doctor.
Sleep Apnea cannot become so severe. It is you who has to take complete care for yourself. Whether you DIY or seek the help of the machines, it is always the best option to visit the doctor before taking any step. You cannot be a pro in everything, let the masters fetch you the best option to lead a healthy and wealthy life.