What is Sleep Apnea?
There are many of us who may be having sleep apnea and not even aware of it. For many, the condition is noticed by someone who then brings it to our attention. Sleep Apnea is a type of Sleep Disorder. It is characterized by the breathing stopping repeatedly while you sleep. Usually, the apnea which is no breathing, can lasts for less than 20 seconds.
There are a growing number of persons who are complaining of Sleeping Disorders. In fact, this has given rise to Sleep Centers mush-rooming all over. As a consequence of this interrupted breathing, sleep does not reach the deep level but remains light. What this results in is chronic sleep deprivation.
This condition is serious but can be treated once it has been diagnosed. If not treated, it could lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, poor concentration, increased risk of accidents including motor vehicle accidents.
Do you feel tired in the mornings? Have you been snoring a lot? Has sleeping during the day and afternoon become habitual? This could be a sign that you may be experiencing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is more common in males than in females and also fairly common in older folks.
Sleep Apnea can occur in three ways:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: a relaxation of the throat muscles can result in a blocked or partially airway. Medical conditions which result in nasal congestion and blocked nasal passages are common risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea.
- Central Sleep Apnea: the cause lies with the central nervous system. Illness which can cause central sleep apnea are stroke, brain, or spinal injuries.
- Complex Sleep Apnea: this type of apnea has features of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea can be caused by the following conditions:
- Chronic sinusitis
- Structural defect of the neck and nasopharyngeal passage
These risk factors listed above, if addressed could resolve the problem of sleep apnea.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
ü Weight loss in overweight persons could improve obstructive sleep apnea.
ü Sleep position may improve snoring and sleep apnea by sleeping on your side.
ü Chiropractic adjustments of the neck where neck bone are out of alignment.
ü Devices which keep the nasal passages open at night, or devices designed to keep the tongue from blocking the throat, have helped some individuals.
ü Medication has helped persons who have not benefitted from conservative treatment. This is particular useful for the treatment of underlying conditions which cause structural defect of the neck and nasopharyngeal passage.
It is becoming more accepted to try conservative therapies before considering medication and even surgery. Many GPs, pulmonologists, anesthesiologists and others offer special services to help those who are experiencing sleep disorders including sleep apnea.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
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