Sleep apnea, much like any sleep disorder, affects the way you live your life.
After all, sleep deprivation messes a person’s general well-being. The mental, physical, emotional, and even social aspects of your life are at risk for unhealthy changes.
Initially, you will only notice how disrupted sleep brings you mood swings and causes you to be less productive during the daytime. While on a daily basis, these can be tolerated (to a certain extent!), it does psychological damage and might progress into progression in the long run.
According to a survey, this sleep disorder can be seen in almost 18 million Americans. If not addressed, this condition can trigger health issues like heart problems, diabetes, obesity, chronic headaches, cognitive impairments, and so much more.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is fairly common, but it is a serious disorder requiring medical attention and guidance. Most people fail to notice that their sleep gets interrupted by difficulty breathing when asleep. Sleep apnea is only confirmed through sleep studies, so a lot of people are left undiagnosed. Hopefully, this informative guide will familiarize you with the condition.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
This is is probably the most common. This type is manifested through difficulty breathing and loud snoring. Most people who suffer from this are only informed by their partners or roommate.
OSA comes in three levels, described as the following:
- Mild – between five to fourteen sleep interruptions in one hour.
- Moderate – between 15 to 30 sleep interruptions in one hour.
- Severe – between more than 30 sleep interruptions in one hour.
SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
Patient suffering from OSA may exhibit the below symptoms:
- Daytime fatigue
- Depression or mood swings
- Waking up to headaches
- Feeling of lack of sleep even after being asleep for full eight hours
PREVALENCE: 4% of men and 2% of women.
Genetics influence the probability of developing sleep apnea, but risk factors such as obesity, excessive alcohol use, and smoking can be culprits in the development of sleep apnea.
Treatment Ideas For Osa
- Positive airway pressure or PAP therapy is the go-to remedy for obstructive sleep apnea. There are three types of sleep apnea machines, namely APAP or Automatic Positive Airway Pressure, BPAP or Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure, and CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP is incredibly effective in lessening breathing interruptions that wakes a person up in the middle of the night, but it needs to be used regularly. BPAP is more suitable for people who have issues with exhaling the pressure from a CPAP machine. This type has two sets of air pressures, one for inhale and another for exhale. It enables patients with sleep apnea to get more air inside their lungs.
Below is a video consisting of tips on how to use a CPAP machine:
- There are also other oral appliances can be utilized to treat OSA.
- Surgeries are also considered to be effective in putting an end to this specific type of sleep apnea.
Central Sleep Apnea
CSA is rarely encountered. Most people suffering from this sleep disorder do not snore. It occurs when the brain forgets to notify the muscles involved in breathing to take some action. This particular sleep apnea may be a symptom of an underlying disease.
Signs That You Have Central Sleep Apnea
Majority of the symptoms are similar to OSA symptoms, but here are a few more distinctive characteristics of CSA:
- excessive and chronic fatigue
- inability to stay focused
- Drowsiness during the daytime.
- Changes in mood
- Shortness of breath during sleep
- Irregular breathing during sleep
PREVALENCE: This is much more uncommon, only seen in 20% of patients with sleep apnea. The risk factors vary from age (this condition is likely more seen in adults aged 65), gender (women tend to have encounter CSA less than men), and health conditions (heart problems, brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease, and other medical issues increase the tendency to develop CSA).
Treatment Ideas For Csa
- If you are wondering if there is a cure for sleep apnea of this kind, one sure way is to tackle the underlying health condition. For instance, treating heart failure or Parkinson’s disease with proper medication can remove the CSA symptoms without having to tackle it firsthand.
- CPAP and BPAP machines are good in the management of the symptoms while addressing the medical condition causing it.
- Adaptive-Servo Ventilation is also a good measure to take to effectively adjust the airflow according to the affected individual’s needs. This works by making quick adjustments once the patient starts breathing abnormally. Once breathing is normalized, it will return to low pressure.
- Medications like Theo-24 and Diamox can help bring about regular breathing patterns for patients who have CSA, in case PAP therapy measures are not working out.
Complex Sleep Apnea
Also called mixed sleep apnea, it is the combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
The symptoms are similar to OSA and CSA. Mixed sleep apnea is more prevalent in men compared to women. The number one course of treatment for this type is CPAP, as well. If this does not work, a combined therapy of BPAP and ASV is a good alternative treatment. There is not one ideal course of action, coming up with a treatment plan should be based on the patient.
If you are unsure if you are experiencing this sleep order, take this sleep apnea evaluation test to find out…
|1. Do you suffer from daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and insomnia?|
|2. Does sleeping leave you with a headache and feeling run down?|
|3. Has your roommate or partner commented about your snoring?|
|4. Do you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom?|
|5. Do you get easily irritated and suffer from memory loss?|
|6. Are you losing sexual drive?|
|7. Do you have a BMI of more than 30?|
|8. Do you have enlarged tongue, recessed jaw, nasal polyps or deviated septum?|
|9. Do you have any medical conditions that are typical with people with sleep apnea (i.e. hypertension, stroke, heart diseases, mood issues,diabetes)|
**If you answer YES to the more than 5 of the questions, seek expert advice. Visit a physician right away.
More than the recommended course of treatment, lifestyle adjustments should be taken to ensure that your condition gets better through time.
How To Get Rid Of Sleep Apnea Through Lifestyle Modifications
There is no point crying over a spilled glass of water, so instead try your best to make living with sleep apnea manageable,
Say Goodbye To The Extra Pounds.
One of the leading causes of obstructive sleep apnea is the excessive weight. The fat surrounding the neck, worsened by the nature of gravity, can aggravate sleep apnea by creating more pressure on the airway. By getting rid of the excess weight, you are helping yourself in so many other ways, aside from reducing OSA severity.
Be disciplined as it is easy to spiral down the road. The lack of sleep can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Craving for sweets and other junk can be intense, but these food choices lack the nutritional value required for an energetic day. It is also hard to work out if you feel lethargic all the time.
A lot of people who have resolved sleep apnea find it easier to lose weight, but it does not mean you have to wait it out. Instead, do your best in trying to maintain a healthy weight. Be motivated and program your mind to rise above the challenges.
Lose The Alcohol And Other Unnatural Medications.
Sleeping pills, alcohols, and sedatives can relax the throat muscles and the central nervous system. When this happens, central sleep apnea commonly ensues. Also, taking alcohol and medications can mess up the sleep cycle through time.
The effects of smoking on the blood vessels and lungs are grave. Smokers are almost always snorers. It also worsens sleep apnea because the toxic substance found in cigarettes have the tendency to cause swelling of the airway. Additionally, it is also a CNS depressant. So for the similar reason why sleeping pills, alcohol, and sedatives are not recommended, you must avoid smoking cigarettes.
Plus, we all know that smoking makes breathing difficult when you are awake. Just imagine what the effects are when you have sleep apnea and unconscious from a deep sleep.
Change Your Sleeping Position.
According to studies, sleeping on your side is the best position to prevent airway obstruction. Sleeping on your back and stomach will make breathing more difficult.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that does not have to ruin your life. With the right clinical approach and lifestyle adjustments, it can become a thing of the past (or at least, have minimal effects on your day-to-day life).
Also, read on to find a natural solution or best pillow for snorer.