Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted while asleep. This can occur even hundreds of times per night. Sleep apnea can mean your brain and the rest of your body do not receive enough oxygen.
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)Obstructive sleep apnea is a result of the blockage of the airway and is the most common of the two forms of apnea. This condition usually occurs due to the collapse of soft tissue in the back of the throat.
- Central sleep apneaCentral sleep apnea occurs by the brain failing to pass signals to the muscles to breathe, due to the instability within the respiratory control center.
Sleep apnea is not restricted to age and can affect anyone, even children. The following factors may lead to sleep apnea.
- Being overweight
- Being Male
- Being over the age of 40
- Having a large neck size
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Having family history for sleep apnea
- Nasal obstructions caused by allergies, sinus, or deviated septum.
What are the effects of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can lead to many health problems if left untreated.
- High blood pressure
- Worsening of ADHD
- Heart failure
- Heart attacks and irregular heart beat
- Untreated sleep apnea can also be responsible for poor performance during everyday activities.
What are the common symptoms of sleep apnea?
- Snoring loudly
- Waking up occasionally with a gasping or choking sensation
- Morning headaches
- Sleepiness during the day
- Sleeping restlessly
- Insomnia or recurrent awakenings
- Decreased interest in sex, mood changes, or forgetfulness
Your doctor may ask you to have sleep apnea tests if you are found with the above symptoms.
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