Sleep apnea is a health condition that happens when one's breathing during sleep stop for a while, usually 10 seconds or even longer. Apnea could happen 5 to 45 times per hour. Apnea is usually associated with choking sensations and often leads to headaches and sleepiness during the day.
Its moderateness or severity is measured with respect to the frequency of episodes per hour, whether you have no breathing (apnea) or slower breathing (hypopnea).
Apnea occurs mostly but not limited to men and not specific to any age group. Loud snoring is usually associated with apnea. People with high blood pressure and obese are most likely to develop apnea. Problems in the nose, throat and air passageway can also cause apnea.
Early detection of this is very important since it usually implies an underlying health condition such as heart problems. In come cases, apnea happens when the muscles in the throat and tongue relax when one is sleeping, which eventually lead to blockage of the air passageway to some varying degree. Then breathing becomes noisier, slow or even stops for a while.
Obese people have greater possibilities of having apnea since they have more tissue in the airway that makes it to narrow for normal breathing.
Apnea makes an active person feel sleepy in the morning and affects their concentration at work. Severe apnea could lead to depression, memory loss, irritability and other negative socio-psychological conditions.
Apnea could increase the risk of having a heart attack, high blood pressure and even stroke.
You should suspect having a sleep apnea disorder when the following conditions occur:
Detecting apnea is a collaborative effort among your family physician, neurologist and pulmonologist.
Types of treatment for sleep apnea:
The best cure for apnea is prevention. There are several ways to prevent one from having to develop apnea and reduce the frequency of the attacks:
This is a serious disease. It could be just a symptom of other more serious illnesses such as hypertension and heart disease. Should you suspect having the symptoms, take time to visit your family physician.
Early detection and diagnoses of sleep apnea could save your life. Apnea is a deadly disorder that gets worse as you grow older. Not only does sleep apnea cause you sleep deprivation, but worse, it can pose danger to your life.
Anyone can have apnea. According to recent statistics, at least 12 million Americans suffer from apnea. The majority of those suffering from this are overweight and heavy snorers.