Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person suffers from potentially sleep disorder, and the breathing suddenly stops and starts while sleeping. With sleep apnea, people get exhausted during the day and may also get depressed due to serious sleep issues.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects the sleeping of a person. It can lead to various health issues if not treated properly. People with sleep apnea have snoring problems. Many people do not even realize that they have sleep apnea until someone notices it. One must see a doctor when sleep apnea starts to hamper the overall health. 

Types Of Sleep Apnea

There are two major types of sleep apnea seen, and these are:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea– This is the most common type of sleep apnea. This condition is caused by the presence of blockage inside the airway. It occurs when the soft tissue present at the back of the throat muscle gets related and collapses while you are sleeping. This condition leads to loud snoring noise along with paused breathing. People may also get obstructive sleep apnea when the facial bone is developing. 

Central Sleep Apnea– This is a very different condition than the obstructive sleep apnea. People with this condition are unable to control the muscle to breathe during sleeping. This happens because the brain fails to signal the muscles to do so. 

Apart from the above-mentioned types of sleep apnea, there is another type which is known as the complex sleep apnea. This is a combination condition of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Causes For Sleep Apnea

Not everyone gets the same causes of sleep apnea. But the most common cause for this condition is the throat muscle. When the throat muscle becomes too relaxed, it causes the blockage of the airway. Many people do not get any effect on this condition. But for many, it can lead to snoring and disturbed sleep.

Risk Factors

Increased Weight

People with too much weight are prone to sleep apnea and snoring. If you are overweight, you need to reduce it to stop sleep apnea. The fat deposit in the throat muscle is one of the reasons for loud snoring and obstructive breathing. Obese people must control their weight and treat conditions such as hyperthyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome to reduce sleep apnea.

But not very overweight people will get sleep apnea. Some thin people may also develop sleep apnea.

Obstructed Or Narrowed Airway

Narrowed nasal passage or obstructed airways may cause sleep apnea. People with tonsil or large adenoid issues are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea. Narrow airway increases sleep apnea condition.

Hypertension

If you have high blood pressure, you may develop sleep apnea frequently. Thus make sure you treat your hypertension with the help of a doctor and proper diet.

Sinus Or Nasal Infection

Be it chronic sinus issues or nasal infection due to seasonal flu, and you may get congested airways. 

This can lead to sleep apnea and snoring during sleeping. Taking medications to treat nasal congestion or sinus is essential to treat sleep apnea.

Smoking 

If you are a frequent smoker and addicted to it, you are likely to get sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that is commonly found in people with smoking habits.

Gender

Men are more likely to get sleep apnea compared to women. But in women sleep apnea tends to develop after menopause.

What Are The Complications Of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that needs proper treatment. Some of the complications that occur are:

  • Sleepiness during the day– When you wake up frequently at night, it creates sleep deprivation. People with sleep apnea feel tired during the day and get sleep frequently. This causes a lack of concentration, lethargy, drowsiness, and lack of interest in activities. People with sleep apnea are likely to get irritated quickly and have attention problems due to disturbed sleep throughout the night. Children with sleep apnea are prone to sleep late during the day and fail to concentrate on studies.
  • Heart problems– Poor sleep may lead to serious heart issues. Obstructive sleep apnea increases blood pressure level, and that affects the cardiovascular system. Straining to breathe properly at night increases the risk of heart diseases.
  • Eye issues– Some people may develop certain eye problems such as glaucoma due to prolonged sleep apnea.
  • Disrupting relationships– Loud noise of snoring due to sleep apnea causes trouble for your partners. It causes sleep deprivation and; partners get irritated. 

Cure For Sleep Apnea

You can either consult with a doctor, or you can adopt certain lifestyle changes to treat sleep apnea. The following ways are helpful in the cure for sleep apnea:

  • Try to sleep on your side. If you have a habit of sleeping on your back, you need to change the bait to reduce sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back also creates snoring.
  • Use anti-snoring nasal sprays to help ease the nasal congestions and reduce snoring. For people with sudden sleep apnea, nasal sprays are a great product to keep handy. You can also use nasal strips, nasal dilator, or breathing strips to cure snoring problems due to sleep apnea.
  • The tennis ball trick may work for you in which the person with sleep apnea should put a tennis ball on their pyjama top. This would keep the person from sleeping on their back. 
  • Elevating the head at the right position is essential to reduce sleep apnea. Make sure that your head is 4 to 6 inches above the bed.
  • Start doing exercises concentrating on the mouth areas. This will help treat snoring and keep the throat muscles active. You can also try chewing gum before bedtime for about 5 to 10 minutes. 

Above all, you should follow a healthy lifestyle, a good diet and do exercises regularly to check your weight. Sleep apnea is a condition that can be treated if you flow the above-mentioned habits. In case the problem remains the same, seek a doctor’s advice. 

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