Sleep apnea is one of a long list of sleep disorders that we find in today's society. However, it can go unnoticed for long periods, or even years, as it only shows symptoms for the spectator. In fact, it can be very scary to you if your partner is suffering from the issue even if he or she is falling asleep and happily aware of your panic. Sleep apnea literally means breathing breathing. To the viewer it can be very easy to see, the person who stops breathing for short periods called apneas.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you can stop breathing up to thirty times a night and suffer from periods of hypoapnea when your body is not breathing deeply. The patient can stop breathing for what seems long periods, everything between seconds and minutes is quite normal. Although the patient does not know what happens, he or she may suffer from fatigue during the day. Fatigue during the day is a symptom of restless sleep or broken sleep. A test that monitors our sleep, known as a polysomnogram, can confirm if we suffer from sleep apnea or other sleep-related disease.
It is important to understand why sleep apnea happens and how it can be prevented, both for suffering and about them. First, we need to understand what kind of apnea we are suffering from. There are three types of sleep apnea; central, obstructive and mixed. Obstructive constitutes approximately 84% of all apnea deaths, which means that there is something that physically prevents breathing. As we sleep, our entire body and soft tissues in the throat area can stop enough air from circulating through our airways, causing the apneas.
There are many physical factors that can help us determine if the apnea we suffer is obstructive and many preventive measures to help this disturbing problem. Patients with online diabetes and obesity patients are more likely to suffer from this disease, obese patients simply have too much tissue in the throat area and prevent normal airways. Heavy smokers are also at high risk, like people who drink heavily. If we consume large quantities of alcohol or take sleeping tablets, our tongue often falls back in the throat and prevents breathing. Upper respiratory tract infections can also cause attacks of sleep apnea because your throat may become swollen and inflamed.
The other types of sleep apnea are central sleep apnea and mixed. Central is relatively unusual, accounting for only 0.4% of cases and mixed with 15% of the total. Central sleep apnea is caused when our brain has an imbalance in its breath control and easily forget to breathe. Mixed is somewhere between or a mixture of O.S.A. and C.S.A. One of the most common symptoms of all types is high snoring, although snoring can be caused by many other factors, and just because someone sneaks high does not mean that they suffer from this disease.
There are physical treatments and even operations available to help with this problem. A splint can be put in your mouth when you sleep to stop the tongue from falling back in the throat for example. But in general, there are many things we can do to help ourselves when we suffer from sleep apnea. To begin with, check if your weight is a problem. If you are overweight, you must do something positive to try to lose weight as the problem only worsens. Quitting smoking can help enormously with sleep apnea and besides being a good thing to do for our health, it will save us money and let us enjoy a healthier lifestyle. You can try to lie on your side to sleep, because in this position your tongue will not fall back in your throat. Cut down on alcohol intake and use of sleeping tablets and you will be surprised at the difference in how you sleep as well as your health. If your sleep apnea is not related to alcohol, smoking or obesity, then look to sleep on an inclined bed. A tilt angle of about 30% can make wonders for patients who sleep apnea, allowing the air to circulate more freely. If you think you or your partner or family member may suffer from sleep apnea, contact a doctor who will be able to confirm the diagnosis.