Although there are a multitude of ailments that affect people of all ages, sometimes, sleep apnea goes undetected because snoring is considered to be an irritant and neglected. However, the fact remains that snoring is one of the precursors to sleep apnea. That is why it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of the ailment.
In the simplest of terms, sleep apnea is the condition or disorder that causes a person to stop breathing while they sleep. In fact, the word “apnea” is Greek and translates as “breathless.” During these breathing interruptions that often occur, your brain attempts to protect you by awakening you so you start breathing again. However, it prevents you from getting the healthy, restful sleep you need. If left untreated, it can result in the onset of more serious conditions.
Sleep apnea occurs when there is a blockage in your airway, a condition commonly known as “obstructive sleep apnea” (OSA). Another related disorder is “central sleep apnea” (CSA), a condition that often occurs when the brain fails to send the signals that control your breathing. Luckily, the lack of oxygen triggers a survival reflex that wakes you so you start breathing again. Unfortunately, that reflex interrupts your sleep and prevents you from getting the restful sleep you need.
Facts regarding Sleep Apnea
The first thing you need to learn about sleep apnea is that it can affect all age groups from infants and toddlers to seniors and the elderly. But, where obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is concerned, here are 5 facts to be aware of:
- prior to the age of 50, OSA is more common among men
- after the age of 50, it becomes equally common among women
- as people age, they are more prone to developing OSA
- being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing OSA
- OSA is more common among Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics
Furthermore, central sleep apnea (CSA), is typically more common among these groups of individuals:
- adults over 60 years of age
- for some individuals who use a CPAP machine and have OSA, this can often trigger the third form of sleep apnea – complex or treatment-emergent central sleep apnea
- individuals who live at higher altitudes often suffer with CSA
- individuals who take opioid-based medications
- individuals with atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, and other heart conditions
Although sleep apnea is considered uncommon, it is extremely widespread. In fact, sleep experts have estimated that between 5% and 10% of the world’s population is affected by sleep apnea.
Symptoms or Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea
If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing a number of diseases or health conditions including:
- heart disease
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
This is why it’s so important to watch for the early stages of sleep apnea and speak with your doctor about sleep apnea therapy. So, what should you be aware of during these earlier stages of the disorder? Here are the 4 most common signs to watch for:
- Choking, gasping, loud snoring, or snorting during sleep – this could be an early indication that your upper airway is blocked or obstructed. It happens frequently throughout the night when you are asleep. In most cases, the bed partner intimates you about the condition if you are unaware.
- Feeling tired after a full night’s sleep – sleep apnea may be the cause of being tired during the day, irritability, a lack of productivity, or nodding off while reading or watching movies or TV
- Fitting the risk profile for sleep apnea – certain individuals are at a higher risk of developing OSA than others. It is important to get immediate medical attention including sleep lab tests done, if prescribed.
- Tossing, turning, or otherwise restlessness while sleeping – jerking, kicking, thrashing, or waking up unexpectedly may be early warning signs of sleep apnea. Sleeping on the side helps to sleep better.
If you or your partner recognizes these early stages of sleep apnea warning signs, you should consider speaking with your doctor or a specialist about what can be done. In some cases, they may recommend undergoing a sleep study in order to determine the right sleep apnea therapy to prescribe. If you are apprehensive of getting the tests done, talk with your doctor to understand the steps of a sleep lab examination.
Possible Sleep Apnea Solutions
So, the question that often arises is what are the cures or treatment options for sleep apnea? Depending on the specific form of sleep apnea that you have and the severity of it, there are a number of treatment approaches that can be considered. Although none of these are a cure, these options can help prevent sleep apnea episodes or alleviate their frequency and severity.
Many of these treatment options can and should be part of your sleeping routine. The following options can alleviate or completely eliminate how sleep apnea affects your life:
- adaptive ventilation devices and positive airway pressure such as CPAP machines
- conservative (nonmedical) treatments such as changing your sleeping position, losing weight, or nasal sprays that keep your airway open such as Asonor Anti-snoring Spray and Snoring Solution
- nerve stimulators that work in similar fashion to MAD’s (see next)
- oral appliances such as mandibular advancement devices (MAD’s) that push the lower jaw and tongue forward to keep the airway open
- prescription medications (central sleep apnea only)
- surgical procedures to correct anatomical anomalies such as adenoidectomies or tonsillectomies, jaw surgery, or nasal surgery to correct a deviated septum
For more information about an effective anti-snoring remedy, visit our website to learn about the benefits of Asonor Anti-snoring Spray and Snoring Solution. Our business representatives are available to take your queries and help you understand more about snoring. Call us today for more information about our products.