A Comprehensive Guide On Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder associated with abnormal breathing and snoring when asleep. It significantly compromises the quality of sleep for the patient, and its impact may linger all through the day. A person suffering from sleep apnea is bound to wake up tired and experience fatigue, despite a full night’s sleep. Read on to know the types, potential risk factors, and signs and symptoms of sleep apnea.

If the patient is unaware of this illness, it’s quite possible the symptoms are being overlooked or are being misunderstood for another cause. The following are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea.

  • Daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Gasping for air in sleep
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Night wets
  • High blood pressure
  • Decreased libido
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Irritability

These symptoms pose a great threat to the patient and their family as daytime drowsiness can affect the productivity of the patient, and there’s a high risk of sleepiness during driving. If you have any occurrence of these symptoms, it’s highly recommended to see a doctor before they aggravate.

The course of treatment depends on the type of sleep apnea you’re diagnosed with. Read on to understand the difference between each type of this sleeping disorder.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
    This is the most common form that occurs as the throat muscles relax intermittently. This causes the air to block and doesn’t allow it to flow smoothly.
  • Central sleep apnea
    This type of sleep apnea is characterized when your brain resists sending proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex sleep apnea
    This is the most severe type of sleep apnea that needs urgent medical attention. This condition occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Knowing the cause of the problem and knowing the potential risk factors help manage the symptoms of a medical condition.

  • Obesity
    Since being overweight can cause fat to accumulate around the neck, it can seemingly press against the airway, obstructing breathing.
  • Old age
    This sleep disorder is more common among older people, and men are at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea than women.
  • Family history
    If more than two close relatives have or had sleep apnea, one may be at a higher risk of developing this sleep disorder.
  • Alcohol and tranquilizers
    Alcohol can further relax throat muscles, causing discomfort and more complications for anyone suffering from this sleep disorder.
  • Smoking
    Smoking causes inflammation in the upper airway and increases the chances of obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Nasal congestion
    Nasal congestion makes breathing more difficult and obstructive, contributing to a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Medical conditions
    Conditions such as congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, hormonal disorders, asthma, and other lung diseases are accompanied by this sleep condition.

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