Sleep Apnea The Facts About This Important Sleep Disorder

Sleep apnea is​ a​ common problem in​ the adult population, and is​ characterised by a​ reduction or​ stoppage of​ breathing when someone is​ asleep.
There are 2 main types - obstructive (which is​ more common) and central,but also a​ mixed type which is​ a​ combination of​ both obstructive and central.
Treatment for sleep apnea can be nonsurgical or​ surgical.

What is​ apnea? in​ layman's terms it​ means that someone has stopped breathing for about 10 seconds or​ perhaps more. These episodes of​ apnea have a​ tendency to​ occur more often when a​ person is​ asleep, thus disrupting the sleep, and often wakening the sleeper up.
Doctors use various indexes which measure the severity of​ the sleep apnea to​ decide on their treatment options.

What causes sleep apnea? in​ the case of​ central sleep apnea it​ happens when the brain fails to​ send signals to​ the respiratory muscles. This is​ most common in​ babies, and in​ adults with heart problems, but can also be caused by some medicines.
In obstructive sleep apnea the message from the brain to​ the respiratory muscles gets through but breathing fails through an​ obstruction preventing the flow of​ air.
Mixed sleep apnea is​ caused by a​ combination of​ these failures.

Obstructive sleep apnea affects more men than women,and is​ more common and has increased severity in​ obese people.

What are the symptoms of​ obstructive sleep apnea? Not only does it​ disrupt sleep, it​ also causes heart problems and high blood pressure, and increased risk of​ stroke. Sufferers are also more likley no have accidents at​ work and on the road through lack of​ concentration related to​ not getting enough sleep.

How is​ obstructive sleep apnea treated? There are several non surgical options varying from behavioral changes to​ medications and dental appliances.
Behavioral changes may simply involve getting the sufferer to​ change their sleeping position, as​ most apneas seem to​ occur whilst sleeping on the back. a​ change in​ diet and lifestyle with consequent reduction in​ obesity can also markedly reduce the severity of​ symptoms. However, these changes are easier to​ talk about than to​ implement.
Dental appliances are sometimes used for mild cases of​ obstructive sleep apnea - these work by holding the jaw and tongue forward and the palate up to​ prevent airway closure.
One of​ the best non surgical treatments is​ called CPAP or​ continuous positive airway pressure. This is​ a​ machine which delivers heated and humidified air under pressure through a​ mask to​ the sufferer whilst they sleep. The machine is​ light and portable, and most people quickly get used to​ the noise the machine makes, and to​ wearing a​ mask.

Surgical options for obstructive sleep apnea include palate implants, reducing the size of​ the tongue, procedures on the jaws, and surgery of​ the nasal passages. Surgery should not be undertaken lightly because of​ the underlying risks of​ anesthesia and complications from the surgery itself.

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea or​ know anyone who does, then it​ is​ important that you seek qualified medical advice as​ soon as​ possible. Continuing your life without recourse to​ treatment leaves you open to​ much higher risk of​ heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and even sudden death.
Seek specialist help today.

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