This is a sleep disorder that affects over 14 million Americans, and is characterized by respiratory distress during sleep that may be 20 to 30 seconds or more. These sleep apnea episodes usually occur five to thirty times an hour and may be responsible for sleep disorders. Snorting, choking and high snoring are associated with this condition. It affects more generally men and the elderly but women and even children may suffer from this problem.
Those who have sleep apnea do not always depend on the condition of the condition, aware that they have sleep disturbance. Because of that it is said that 80% to 90% of the sufferers are undiagnosed. It is generally the case that their partners take note of the condition and draw attention to it.
Types of sleep apnea - There are two types. The most common type is called obstructive sleep apnea, and as the name suggests, involves a blocked airway, which can be the result of overlapped neck muscles and tongue, obesity and facial and leg structural abnormalities. The blockage causes breathing to end and the person begins to fight for breathing and lacing.
When a blockage occurs, oxygen levels decrease while carbon dioxide levels increase. This in turn stimulates the brain to normalize the breathing process and urges the person to wake up and to open the airway by adjusting the throat and throat muscles. Breathing then returns to usually accompanied usually by high snoring. This usually happens without the person's knowledge and they can not remember being awake for a short while or even being aware of their gasps for air.
The other type is called central sleep apnea which results from the delayed signals of the brain to the breathing muscles. This causes breathing to end and consequently oxygen levels begin to fall. This condition is less common than obstructive apnea and is a nervous system disorder usually caused by an injury or a disease involving the brain stem. This can be in the form of stroke or brain tumor, among other things. Although those with this condition can not spin, they may experience breathlessness.
Although both types have different causes, their effects are the same: low oxygen levels in the brain, poor sleep, excessive sleepiness today, fatigue and sometimes as a result of depression. Side effects of the disease can be high blood pressure and irregularity in the heart when oxygen levels become dangerously low. The condition can be extremely disturbing to bed partners because of the high snoring and breathing breath and can lead to the partner suffering from sleep deprivation.
What should you do? - Because the condition occurs only during sleep it is difficult for a person to know that they have sleep apnea. If a person suspects that they have the condition, especially if they show signs of symptoms, they may choose to have their sleeping patterns documented. For example, the person's partner may be prompted to record breathing sores pause, snoring, suffocation, snorting etc. If alone, the person can video himself to see if the symptoms are displayed. By doing this, the results would determine if a doctor or sleep specialist needed.
When diagnosed, either the doctor or the sleep specialist would submit treatments or operations depending on the severity of the condition. But do not despair. To overcome less sleep apnea, some lifestyle changes or behavioral treatments, and are very helpful. For example, reduce or avoid alcohol and tobacco, lose weight and make sure you have regular sleeping time.
If diagnosed with sleep apnea, professional counseling from a doctor or sleep specialist will be necessary to treat the condition satisfactorily.