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Treat Your Severe Sleep Apnea Right Away!

Severe sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops breathing for short periods of time while sleeping. Each cessation in breath is referred to as an apnea, and they can last from between ten seconds to one minute, although they have been reported to last up to 90 seconds in very extreme cases. The longest apneas occur during the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep, which is also where most dreams occur as well.



People who have sleep apnea have a poor quality sleep because EEG measurements show that they frequently skip the deepest periods on non-REM sleep, which is where the most regeneration of the body and mind occurs. These people often have many short periods of waking up accompanied by extremely loud snoring in connection with the apneas, although they are almost never aware of these awakenings. However, many people also report having to wake up frequently to go to the bathroom, sometimes as many as four times a night.

The cause of apneas is an occlusion of the throat, which results in no air reaching the lungs. This is typically referred to as obstructive sleep apnea. When you sleep, the muscles in the body relax. This is also true in the upper respiratory tract (nose, mouth and throat), whereby the airways can be narrowed. This leads many to begin to snore. Sometimes it also becomes difficult to breathe.

How is Severe Sleep Apnea Characterized And Defined?

When a person suffers from multiple apneas during sleep, the level of oxygen in the blood begins to be depleted, and the brain reacts by waking the person so that normal breathing can resume. 

 

Generally speaking, sleep apnea falls into three different categories: mild, moderate, and severe. In order to diagnose the severity of the sleep apnea, it is almost always necessary to undergo a sleep study, usually performed under the care of specialists at a sleep clinic

 

Doctors and sleep specialists are able to diagnose and determine the level of sleep apnea by using two different measurements: the number of apneas that occur, on average, in one hour, and the level of oxygen saturation in the blood, which should be at or near one hundred percent in individuals who do not suffer from apneas. 

severe sleep apnea10An individual is considered to have some form of sleep apnea if they suffer from more than five apneas during any one hour period.

The mild form of this disorder is characterized by between 5 and 15 apneas in any one hour period, and a blood oxygen saturation level between 90 and 99 percent.

This sleeping disorder is considered to be moderate if a person has between 15 and 30 apneas in a one hour period, and an oxygen level in the blood between 80 and 90 percent.

Finally, severe sleep apnea is characterized by a person having more than 30 apneas in a one hour period, although this number could go up to as many as 120 apneas per hour in very extreme cases. Individuals with severe sleep apnea also have an oxygen level in the blood that drops below 80%, which can cause very serious health problems.

Since this condition can only be diagnosed by a doctor, it is necessary to immediately visit with your physician if you think you may be suffering from it. The main problem with this is that sufferers almost never know they have it; instead it is their sleeping partner or bed mate who first notices the problem.

severe sleep apneaHealth Risks Associated with Severe Sleep Apnea

Almost all sleeping disorders come with an increased risk for a variety of health problems, however none of these compare to the health risks associated with extreme sleep apnea. 

In the short term, there can be some general symptoms, such as dizziness with sleep apnea. Some of the most dangerous long-term risks are listed below.

High blood pressure

More and more studies show that there is a correlation between sleep apnea and hypertension (especially in the morning). More than 35% of people with this disorder have a blood pressure that exceeds the limits of what is considered normal, and this number more than doubles when looking at those with what is considered extreme sleep apnea. 

Cardiovascular disease

This sleeping disorder involves a great strain on both the heart and its function. Untreated breathing pauses could eventually lead to permanent damage to blood vessels and other organs that control the blood circulation in the body. High blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders, heart failure and increased risk of heart attacks and blood clots in the brain are some examples.

Blood clots in the brain

Extreme sleep apnea can increase the risk of stroke significantly. In fact, it is believed that more than 60% of all those who have a stroke, also has some form of apneas. So the chances are quite good that if you have had a stroke, then you also suffer from this sleeping disorder as well.

Other Risks

People who do not sleep well also have a much harder time tolerating stress and run a higher risk of accidents. This is especially true for those with frequent or long lasting apneas, and is a major cause of many car accidents, especially during long-term repetitive driving. Other than that, a clear link has been established between sleep apnea and depression, and even sleep apnea and diabetes.

Cancer and Death

severe sleep apneaNew studies have demonstrated a correlation between extreme sleep apnea and an increased risk of death. In fact, a recent study showed that for men between the ages of 30 and 70 that suffer from this condition, they will be at least 1.5 times more likely to die prematurely than those men without this sleeping disorder.

Other studies have begun to show a very large correlation between cancer and this severe sleeping disorder. While the majority of studies have found a much larger correlation in men, there is still distinct evidence to show that anyone who suffers from this condition is at a much larger risk for developing almost all types of cancer.

Due to all of these risks, it is imperative that you see your doctor as soon as possible, to attempt to at least get your sleeping disorder under control so you can lower your risks of all of these dangerous ailments and health problems.


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