Sleep Apnea – Symptoms, Types, Causes, Risks & Treatment

How many times did you get up in the middle of the night irritated by loud and weird snores, choking or gasping sounds? Does your partner or someone you sleep next to has this problem? Ever wondered why they make so much of noise while asleep?

Are there any possibilities such people have a sleeping disorder?

Snoring Can Be Due To Sleep Apnea

Yes, they might have sleeping disorders which they might not even be aware of. And sometimes, these sleeping disorders can be harmful, like Sleep Apnea.

What’s Exactly Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder where an individual can experience repetitive stops and starts of his breathing during his sleep. This can result in restless sleep, daytime drowsiness and noisy snoring.

Signaling issues in the brain or blockage in the airway can be some of the reasons behind the continuous halt while breathing.

Types Of Sleep Apnea

There are three types of Sleep Apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is one of the common problem found in the people that occurs due to throat muscle relax.
  • Central Sleep Apnea: When your brain finds it difficult to send the appropriate signals to muscles that control breathing, some individuals can face this problem.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome: This occurs in an individual when he has both obstructive and central sleep apneas. This sleep apnea syndrome is also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.

Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea:

People suffering from this sleeping disorder may not be aware of its symptoms, but the people around them can notice the change in sleeper’s sleeping patterns. The person sleeping next to such people can notice sleep grunts or gasps, sudden breaks while breathing, and then a silence as they go back into deep sleep again.

Daytime Drowsiness Can Be a Reason Of Sleep Apnea

People with sleep apnea often don’t get a proper sleep at night. This makes them feel tired and drowsy during the daytime time. Doctors have found that a person with a large neck circumference is more likely to suffer from sleep apnea. Women with the neck outline larger than 15 inches and men with more than 17 inches can be at high-risk of facing such sleeping disorders.

Other signs and symptoms Of Sleep Apnea:

  • Waking up several times at night for urination.
  • Insomnia.
  • Irritation.
  • A decrease in libido.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Heartburn.
  • Dry or sore mouth.
  • Noisy snoring.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Lower concentration levels.

Risks And Complications Of Sleep Apnea:

With sleep apnea, a victim can cause various difficulties and changes in him/her. Such as:

Brain Function: The brain can get affected when an individual suffers from Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). In such individuals, the neurological controls for breathing are not proper, which causes a glitch in working and functioning of breathing.

There are times when the snoring gets stops and there is no breathing because the airway gets completely choked. The brain senses this and alerts the muscles to tighten and return the airflow when there is no breathing for more than 10 seconds. This break while breathing is called apnea.

Interestingly this process continues for hundreds of times till breathing becomes smooth, leading to deeper sleep in an individual.

Muscular Change: The muscles that help in circulating air in and out of the lungs relax when we sleep. This can narrow the airway passage. For most people, this is not an issue, but for those with sleep apnea, this narrowed airway can end up being fully restricted, resulting in a lack of air being supplied to the body.

Physical obstacles: The reasons that can narrow the airway can be due to excessive fats around the airway or the thick tissues. This leads to loud snoring in people as something tries to block the airway and does not allow smooth breathing. This can be associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Possible Causes Of Sleep Apnea:

  • Smoking
  • Menopause
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Supine sleeping
  • Down syndrome
  • Hereditary or family history of sleep apnea
  • Increase in weight gain
  • Large neckline
  • Large tonsils
  • Obesity

Obesity Can Cause Sleep Apnea

Complications Due To Sleep Apnea:

This sleeping disorder can cause numerous complications in an individual.

  • Headaches
  • Lower quality of life
  • Strokes
  • Lower memory
  • Cognitive functioning and difficulties
  • Mood swings
  • Dry or sore mouth
  • Risk of death
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Glaucoma
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Fatal accidents

Treatments For Sleep Apnea:

The complications that can be caused due to this harmful sleeping disorder requires us to take proper guidance and medication.

There are different methods of treatment that can cure apnea depending upon the levels and causes of the same. To smoothen the breathing while we sleep is the ultimate goal of therapy.
Positive results are experienced with anti-snore devices and pills which are easily available online.

anti snore device

The treatment can benefit an individual with:

  • Prevention of cardiovascular changes caused due to improper breathing.
  • Eliminates day time drowsiness
  • Removes unwanted cognitive changes from lack of sleep

One difference that is very important to make to lead a healthy life and reduce the risk of harmful diseases is the change in lifestyle.

Lifestyle change can work wonders. Improving habits and giving up some addictions can help the body to function correctly without any disturbance or barriers. Some of the patterns that need to stop and some practices that need to channelize are as follows:

  • Toxic termination
  • Side sleeping
  • Start exercising
  • Weight control

Controlling Weight Can Cure Sleep Apnea

Unknown Facts About Sleep Apnea:

  • Sleep apnea can increase the risks of high blood pressures and hypertension
  • Sleep apnea can affect any age grouped people including children.
  • Doctors have shown that around 1 in 20 adults can have moderate to severe symptoms, while 1 in 10 can slightly have obstructive sleep apnea in them.
  • There is an increased risk of OSA in women with Menopausal and Postmenopausal.
  • Untreated sleep apnea can cause serious health issues like depression and heart diseases.

Sleep Apnea Can Cause Depression

It is advised to people who experience the slightest symptoms of apnea to consult a doctor and start necessary treatments. As a stitch in time saves nine, it’s better to get treated before it’s too late. Though nowadays, we have advanced therapies that fight against different problems, it’s better to change our lifestyles a little bit to enjoy life without such problems.
Also Read: Air Snore ReviewAn Anti-Snore Device To Get A Better Sleep

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About Michelle 61 Articles
Michelle is the senior most expert who writes for this website. After completing her graduation and 10+ years of practice, Michelle has been involved and known for a lot of her philanthropy work. Michelle loves spending time researching and writing her papers. She occasionally writes for us and we are extremely proud to have her as one of our editors. Follow me on Linkedin

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