Sleep Apnea is a common and severe sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. The nasal airways repeatedly become blocked, inhibiting the amount of air that moves to the lungs. When this occurs, you may snore loudly or make choking noise as you try to breathe. Your brain and body become deoxygenated thereby causing you to wake up. This incident may occur a good number of times a night or in the worst cases several hundred times a night. Sleep Apnea usually is a chronic condition that interrupts your sleep. When your breathing stops or becomes shallow, this causes you to move out of deep sleep on into light sleep. Sleep Apnea makes your sleep poor thereby leading to dizziness during the daytime. A study has shown that sleep Apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

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Sleep Apnea often is not diagnosed because doctors can’t detect the condition during normal visits and no blood tests can help diagnose the condition. People who have sleep Apnea don’t know they are suffering from it because its symptoms occur only in sleep. It can only be noticed by a family member or partner.



Types of Sleep Apnea

There are two types of sleep Apnea:

1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is the more common of the two forms of apnea caused by a blockage of the nasal airway, usually when the soft tissue behind the throat contracts during the sleep. It is most common in people who are overweight but anyone can have it even small children who have enlarged tonsil tissues in their throats.

2. Central Sleep Apnea: This is a much less common type of sleep apnea that involves the central nervous system, seen when there is the failure of the brain to signal the muscle that controls breathing. People who have central apnea seldom snore. Central sleep apnea can affect anyone. However, it’s mostly seen in people who possess certain medical conditions or use certain medicines. It can occur with obstructive sleep apnea or alone.

3. Complex Sleep Apnea: This type of sleep apnea occurs when there is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
Anyone can have sleep apnea at any age, even kids. Common risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Being male
  • Being overweight
  • Being average 40
  • Presence of large neck size
  • Presence of large tonsils, large tongue, or small jaw bone.
  • Hereditary
  • Nasal obstruction caused by deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problem

Effects of Sleep Apnea
When you have sleep apnea, the following numbers of health problems are likely to occur:

–      High blood pressure
–      Stroke
–      Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attack
–      Diabetes
–      Depression
–      Headaches

Symptoms of Apnea
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. But that does not mean that everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring becomes a sign of sleep apnea when followed by silent breathing pauses and choking or gasping sounds. Again, people who are tired and sleep during the day have apnea. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

–      Loud or frequent snoring
–      Silent pauses in breathing
–      Choking or gasping sounds
–      unrefreshing sleep
–      Insomnia
–      Morning headaches
–      Nocturnal
–      Difficulty concentrating
–      Temporary Amnesia
–      Decrease sexual desire
–      Irritability

OSA Disorder Red Deer

Sleep Apnea Tests and Diagnosis
When you have symptoms of sleep apnea, your doctor may ask you to have a sleep apnea test, called polysomnogram. This test is carried out in a sleep disorder center or even at home. Polysomnogram is multiple component tests that electronically transmits and hold records of specific physical activities while you sleep. The recordings are then analyzed by a quality sleep specialist to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea or another type of sleep disorder.

Sleep apnea treatments range from lifestyle changes such as losing weight or changing sleep positions, to CPAP therapy, to surgery.

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