In simple terms, sleep apnea refers to a sleeping disorder where one has difficulty breathing when sleeping. This disorder is characterized by abnormal pauses in between breathes or particular low breathing when a patient is asleep. Cases of sleep apnea are especially on a high rise now with a large of number of individuals being diagnosed with the condition every day.
Causes of sleep apnea
There are different 3 variations of sleep apnea;
- Central sleep apnea – this comes about when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles to breathe.
- Obstructive sleep apnea – this on the other hand comes when the tissues at the rear of the throat falls closed thus preventing an individual from breathing properly.
- Mixed sleep apnea - Some patients are diagnosed with mixed sleep apnea which is usually a mixture of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. These patients tend to experience symptoms that are a mixture of the two mentioned types of sleep apnea.
Who can get sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is not a disease for specific people, it can affect anyone including old men and women and children. Although, overweight persons tend to be more susceptible to elements of sleep apnea compared to average weight people. With children, tonsils and adenoids are said to be contributing factors towards development of sleep apnea and can therefore be removed to salvage the situation.
It is sad, that most people are unaware of the dangers of sleep apnea and they therefore ignore getting diagnosed and treated if found to be victims.
It important that you note that central sleep apnea is majorly neurologically based. This particular disorder may be related to cervical spine damage, brain injury, stroke and other neurological diseases.
Symptoms of sleep apnea
Often, individuals with sleep apnea never recognize that they have the disorder. However, there are specific symptoms that can establish whether an individual has sleep apnea or not. Read below;
- Restless sleep patterns
- Prolonged insomnia
- Gasping during and in the middle of sleep
- Loud snoring
- Sweating excessively when sleeping
- Constant fatigue and need to sleep during the day
- Frequently waking up with a dry throat
Treating sleep apnea
Sleep apnea if left untreated can impact your health negatively. From chronic heart diseases, psychological problems, sexual dysfunction and even low level of productivity.
Treating sleep apnea on the other hand varies in accordance to the level with the disorder has progressed. Most commonly, treatment for sleep apnea is administered in form of therapies and surgeries depending on the complexity of the condition.
Here are ways to treat the disorder;
- Therapy – therapy as a form of treatment for sleep apnea is mostly used when the condition is moderate to severe.
- Surgery – when sleep apnea calls for surgery, it means that the condition has become more complex. For children, minor surgeries to remove tonsils and adenoids has helped. For adults, nasal airway surgery is an option that most doctors consider to help patients breathe better and comfortably.
- Natural treatments – there is a variety of natural treatment options for sleep apnea. And while the treatment can be helpful, it requires that you make some specificlifestyle changes. Change in diet, reducing stress levels, and exercises have been proven to be great natural remedies for sleep apnea.
- Additionally, sleep apnea often arises due to poor sleep positions. There are recommended sleep positions that tend to ease the symptoms of sleep apnea. SleepJunkie contains quite some useful information on how sleep positions can affect your sleep. Visit the site for more information.