Snoring in the middle of the night is terrible enough. You may not feel as refreshed when you wake up, and you may disturb your partner’s sleep. However, it isn’t all. It’s possible that your sleep apnea is more serious than you believe.
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing while sleeping. When you stop breathing, your brain briefly wakes you up so that you may restart breathing. This disrupts your sleep cycles and hinders you from getting a decent night’s sleep.
Sleep apnea is dangerous to your health since it can lead to other major medical issues.
Two types, different causes
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea are the two kinds of sleep apnea. While they have similar symptoms, their causes are not the same.
1. Obstructive sleep apnea
OSA is more frequent, affecting around 9% of children and 9–24% of adults. When the muscles in your throat relax, they obstruct or constrict your airway, causing OSA.
Your brain will force you to open your airways if your breathing slows or stops. Because it happens so rapidly, most patients are completely unaware of what is going on. It might happen 30 times or more in an hour. OSA is more prone to develop in men who are overweight.
2. Central sleep apnea
This condition is less prevalent than OSA. When your brain fails to send signals to your breathing muscles, central sleep apnea occurs. Other health issues, such as heart disease or drug usage, are frequently the cause.
The symptoms of both kinds are similar, and they include:
- Breathing stops for a few moments.
- Headache in the morning
- Excessive drowsiness during the day
- snoring loudly (typically OSA)
- Problems with memory
- Concentration problems
- Waking up gasping for oxygen or with shortness of breath
- Having a dry tongue when you wake up
Some symptoms, such as nighttime chest aches, are solely related with central sleep apnea.
Why is obstructive sleep apnea so dangerous?
Your body, particularly your heart, is put under a lot of strain by sleep apnea. Because you’re not breathing as much, your blood oxygen levels begin to decline. This causes high blood pressure, which raises the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
If you already have a cardiac issue, sleep apnea can make things worse. Heart arrhythmias can develop if an already stressed heart has numerous bouts of low blood oxygen.
Other complications include:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome is a condition in which the body’s metabolism
- Complications following surgery
- Problems with the liver
- Daytime exhaustion
Severe daytime drowsiness might jeopardize the health of others. Excessive drowsiness is a major contributor to fatal vehicle accidents. Each year, around 800-900 people die as a result of sleepy driving.
Your doctor may only prescribe lifestyle modifications for lesser types of sleep apnea, such as decreasing weight or quitting smoking. If you have nasal allergies, your doctor will advise you on how to treat them.
If these techniques don’t help your signs and symptoms, or if your apnea is moderate to severe, there are a variety of further options.
A clogged airway can be helped with the use of certain devices. In some circumstances, surgery may be required.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
If you have moderate to severe sleep apnea, a machine that supplies air pressure through a mask while you sleep may be beneficial.
The air pressure of a CPAP machine is slightly higher than the ambient air, just enough to keep your upper airway passages open and avoid apnea and snoring.
Although the most frequent and effective treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), some people find it inconvenient or uncomfortable. Some people abandon the CPAP machine, but most people can adjust the tension of the mask’s straps to achieve a comfortable and secure fit with practice.
To locate a mask that is comfortable, you may need to test a few different types. If you’re having trouble with your CPAP machine, don’t quit using it. Consult your doctor to see if any adjustments may be made to improve your comfort.
Also, if you’re still snoring or if you start snoring again after therapy, see your doctor. The pressure settings on your CPAP machine may need to be modified if your weight changes.
It is just a case of loud snoring – While not the whole description of Sleep Apnea, snoring is a component of it. Left untreated conditions may have negative effects on health, including an increased risk of heart issues and exhaustion, which can lead to irritability and lack of attention.