There are two forms of sleep apnea: central
sleep apnea and
sleep apnea. Combinations of the two can occur. The most frequent
type is obstructive sleep apnea, and is caused, as the
by an obstruction in the airways during sleep. These obstructions can
be caused by a variety of factors such as facial shape, being obese or
overweight, alcohol consumption and much more.
the condition is mostly found in adults, especially men, it can also be
in children. Sleep apnea can be temporary, for example in
cases where it is caused by enlarged polyps or tonsils or obesity. The
severity the condition varies a lot from patient to patient, and can be
external factors such as colds, stress, etc.
apnea in itself is not a dangerous condition, however, it is proven to
a negative effect of the cardiovascular system, and thus make the risk
of related diseases much higher. It is completely certain
matter what, the condition lowers overall well being of the sufferer,
and makes their everyday life more difficult.
As we said before, it is
very important to seek treatment for sleep apnea, if you suspect that
you're suffering from the condition. Snoring, although it can be
incredibly bothersome, is much, much more common than sleep apnea, but
also the most common
symptom of the illness.
caused by sleep apnea is often accompanied by quiet
periods of up to 60 seconds, in which the sleeper
unsuccessfully tries to
draw in air. Most people who have experienced sleeping next to a person
with sleep apnea have heard the grunts, gasps and snorts associated
until the sleeper wakes up is air allowed through,
and as apneas occur hundreds of times during the night, it is hard for
sufferers to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep
apnea and dizziness,
and lethargy are also commonly linked together.
are subjective and thus very hard to measure, however, it is possible
to observe different reaction patterns, showing that a person does
not react with sufficient alertness in certain situations. Tendencies
to sleep in monotonous or undesirable situations, i.e. at meetings and
when watching a movie, can also be one of the clear signs
of sleep apnea.
if a patient does not experience falling asleep as described
above, he or she may experience a lowered
ability to focus in situations
without physical activity or other stimulation. Many describe
their daily tasks completely on auto-pilot, and not remembering how
did it afterwards.
times, the people around the patient are best at describing the
symptoms, mainly because people with sleep
apnea most often have no
recollection of their attacks, and are not at
all aware of having woken up. However, it is also often easier for
friends and family to detect changes in a person’s behavior, i.e.
whether they are different in mental state: grumpy, forgetful etc.
- Waking up at
night for no apparent
- Increased need
to urinate during the
concentration and memory issues
- A feeling of
never being fully rested,
even after many hours of sleep
frequent symptoms include:
caused by sleep apnea: not getting
sufficient sleep can be very damaging to mental health, and make it
much more difficult to face everyday life.
of Your Sleep Apnea Symptoms
you have experienced one or more of the above sleep apnea symptoms
and think you may have sleep apnea, you should visit a doctor to
diagnosed and determine the correct treatment.
Obstructive sleep apnea refers to conditions where the apnea is caused
by obstructions in the upper airway and pharynx. This caused the flow
of air to the lungs is lessened/stops due to resistance in these
areas, i.e. because the soft palate falls back during sleep and hinders
Central sleep apnea is another type of sleep apnea that is caused by
conditions in the brain, and also causes the flow of air to the lungs
to be lessened or stopped for a short period.
No matter what type of apnea you have, it is a stressful condition for
your body. It is normal for the blood
pressure and pulse to fall during
the night, but in people with sleep apnea these do not fall
are sleeping. Sufferers often do not reach the deep phase of the
non-REM part of the normal
and sleep apnea, as well as between sleep
apnea and high blood pressure, have been determined. If a patient is
not treated for these conditions, sleep apnea can become much more
severe and bring along with it very serious side effects.
The most efficient way to diagnose sleep apnea is to measure brain
activity, breathing, and oxygen saturation in the blood.
The latter is the most simple test to do, and normally only requires
that the patient sleeps with a “clamp”
on his finger.
of the type
of sleep apnea in which the oxygen saturation decreases can easily be
diagnosed with this type of test, while it is useless for other types
of the condition.
There are other methods to determine sleep apnea that look for various
factors, using measurements of a patients breathing during sleep.
Others measure sleep
position and restlessness during the night. One of
the most common ways to determine the correct treatment for sleep apnea
is to count the number of apneas a patient has during the night. These
can last for 10-60
seconds and can occur 300-600
times during the night.
For more information about how sleep apnea can have a strain on the heart, be sure to visit the website of the Cardiomyopathy Association. It's better to catch the symptoms early, and for that you need a complete picture.
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