Sleep Apnea – Types, Causes, and Symptoms

Experts considered Sleep apnea a severe sleeping disorder and can be responsible for some severe health problems if untreated, such as high blood pressure and heart trouble.

In this condition, you stop repeatedly breathing during sleep, which makes you snore loudly and remain tired all day long, even if you slept for the whole night. Sleep apnea can affect anyone, but it is generally common in overweight older men.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep dysfunction that makes a person stop breathing, sometimes hundreds of times during sleep in the night.

It needs to be cured immediately because if not, then it can create several health problems, for example, hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, diabetes, and heart attacks. 

Treatment also becomes essential; otherwise, sleep apnea can also affect your job, can cause work-related and motor vehicle accidents.

Types of Sleep Apnea 

It can be classified in two ways Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is prevalent and is mostly the case between the two. Obstructive sleep apnea is complete or partial upper airway blockage during sleep. In this type, the pressure increases to open the airway, making the diaphragm and chest muscles work harder than before. As your breathing becomes heavy, it produces a loud gasp or makes your body jerk. It can also reduce the flow of oxygen to vital organs and cause heart rhythm irregularities.

Central apnea is linked with the function of the central nervous system. In central sleep apnea, instead of the airway getting blocked, the brain misses signaling the muscles to continue to breathe due to uncertainty in the respiratory control center. 

Who gets sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is common in both men and women. About 25% of men and nearly 10% of women are suffering from sleep apnea. Also, there is no age exception to ages as it can affect babies and children; it can also affect people over the age of 50 and are overweight.

Some typical features and physical traits found in patients with obstructive sleep apnea are  

  • Large neck
  • Heavyweight
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Low-hanging soft palate
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Small jaw with an overbite

What happens when you stop breathing?

During sleep apnea, you stop breathing, and when this happens, your heart rate drops due to no oxygen supply into the body. Then, your reflexes make you suddenly awake, and with this, your heart rate accelerates instantly, and your blood pressure rises.

What causes sleep apnea?

If the tissue in the back of the throat falls during sleep, it creates an airway blockage that causes obstructive sleep apnea. And due to central nervous system dysfunction, central sleep apnea is witnessed.

It can also be observed in the patient suffering from a stroke and neuromuscular diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—also, patients who are suffering from heart failure and other diseases related to kidney or lungs.

symptoms of sleep apnea

Following are some common symptoms of sleep apnea.

  • Snoring.
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue.
  • Restlessness during sleep, frequent nighttime awakenings.
  • Cognitive impairment, such as trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, or irritability.
  • Mood disturbances (depression or anxiety).
  • Night sweats.
  • Frequent nighttime urination.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Headaches.

Having the right diagnosis and choosing the correct treatment method is extremely important. If you are having a problem sleeping or experiencing the condition discussed above, feel free to get in touch with us. We have experts who can help you clear all your doubts and guide you through the treatment procedure. We will make sure that you get all your answers.

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