The Ignorance of Sleep Apnea

We all have been through sleep disorders, some of us have experienced it by ourselves and some of us have seen others suffering with it. Sleep Apnea is one such form of chronic sleep disorder which is characterized by a rupture in the breathing process while sleeping.

There can be occurrences of low or irregular breathing while sleeping. The length of the apnea (break from breath) can last from at least 10 seconds to several minutes and occur around 100 times a day.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Basically there are three forms of this disorder – Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea and Mixed Sleep Apnea.

OSA is the most common of three. This makes the individual snore loudly as it occurs when a soft tissue in the back of one’s throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway. Whereas, CSA occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that manage breathing and MSA as the name suggests is a combination of both.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Despite the different forms of disorder, an individual suffering with sleep apnea is rarely aware of the signs as the major symptoms, like difficulty in breathing occurs only when one is asleep. This affects not only adults but children as well.

Some symptoms include fighting sleepiness during day, concentration failure, mood swings, dry mouth, loud snoring, bad headaches and other similar signs of fatigue. Because of these standard symptoms many individuals do not realize it to be a chronic disorder.

How to Deal?

Sleep apnea can range from mild to severe conditions. If someone is suffering from mild apnea then it can be recovered if they take care of the small things in their day to day lifestyle. The precautions to be taken include a balanced weight, avoid alcohol and smoke, sleep on one’s side than on back as it will help keep the throat open and also try and keep the nasal open as much as possible.

Other common treatment includes the usage of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). It’s like a mask that fits over one’s nose and it is known for curing moderate to severe sleep apnea. The machine gently blows air into one’s throat and the pressure helps keep the airway open while they sleep.

The next includes fixing a device known as mouthpiece. The device adjusts ones lower jaw and tongue in such a way that the airways get opened up while sleeping hence letting one breath regularly.

The last resort involves a surgery. It is conducted to widen the breathing passages, generally to remove tonsils as they block airway.

Hence disorders such as sleep apnea are common and should not be disregarded. If you fear any of these above mentioned syndromes do visit your nearest sleep specialist doctor.

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