Suffering from sleep apnea? Here’s what you must know
Sleep apnea is one such condition in people where the person’s breathing stops suddenly in the sleeping state leading to disturbance in sleep. As we all know, sleep is very necessary for a person’s well-being as it recharges the body every day by repairing the damaged cells and helping the body to recover daily. But if the sound sleep is broken or hampered at regular intervals in case of conditions like sleep apnea, people suffer from various sleep disorder related problems like fatigue, body pain, etc. If you are not sure about sleep apnea, here is all that you need to know about it.
- Central sleep apnea is one kind of sleep apnea where the brain is not sending signals to the brain to control the breathing in sleep.
- Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the airway is blocked and sufficient air cannot reach the lungs. This is why patients with obstructive sleep apnea either snore or having a feeling like getting choked which breaks the sleep. The brain and body is deprived of oxygen which leads to such a feeling.
- Another type of sleep apnea is complex sleep apnea when the person suffers from both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea at the same time. This requires urgent attention.
The certain symptoms that confirm whether you have sleep apnea are:-
- Breakage of sleep
- Choking sensation in sleep
- Loud snoring
- Shortness of breath leading to waking up suddenly and frequently. Sometimes this can happen even 20 to 30 times in one hour.
- Sleepiness during daytime
- Morning headache and irritability
Sleep apnea is mainly caused by a disorder in muscles in the throat. The human throat has certain muscles that control activities like swallowing and breathing. In certain people the muscles may not be functioning properly or have blocked the airway which leads to a snoring noise or choked feeling in sleep.
Diagnosis of sleep apnea is done in most super specialty hospitals where a doctor who is a specialist in sleeping disorders tests the patient using a polysomnogram. It is a machine that measures the heart rate and rhythm, oxygen levels in the blood, duration of sleep and airflow.
One of the most popular treatments for sleep apnea that is recommended is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP treatment. It is a kind of mechanical device that opens the airway in the throat while the patient is sleeping. The machine is fixed on the nose like a mask to use air pressure to unblock the airway. Other than that patients are advised to lead a healthy life, exercise daily, adjust sleeping positions, avoiding alcohol consumption and trying to reduce obesity.
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