About Sleep Apnea – Types, Symptoms, Causes.

Sleep Apnea Types, Symptoms, and Causes.

Sleep apnea is recognized worldwide as possibly one of the most dangerous sleep disorders in which breathing regularly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel exhausted even after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea.

+Types of Sleep Apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
  • Central sleep apnea, occurs when your brain doesn’t send accurate signals to the muscles that control breathing.

With this in mind, if you might have sleep apnea, visit your doctor. Treatment can alleviate your symptoms and may help prevent heart problems and other difficulties. Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age. Unfortunately, even children are not safe from it. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being over age 40
  • Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Nasal obstruction due to deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems

+Symptoms 

 Important to realize, symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea overlap, sometimes making it troublesome to determine which type you might have. These are the most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep – which would be reported by another person
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Irritability

Loud snoring can manifest a potentially severe problem. Although, not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. Besides, you should always consult with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of sleep apnea. Ask your doctor about any sleep issues that leaves you exhausted, sleepy and irritated during the day.

+Causes

Obstructive Sleep apnea

 This becomes present when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. These muscles support the soft palate, the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils, the sidewalls of the throat and the tongue.

 When the muscles go loose, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in. Consequently, you can’t get enough air, which can lower the oxygen levels in your blood. As a result, your brain becomes aware of your inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so short that you don’t remember it.

 Also, you might snort, choke or gasp. This pattern can repeat itself five to 30 times or even more each hour, all night, deteriorating your ability to reach the deep, restful phases of sleep.

Central sleep apnea

 This is a less common form of sleep apnea. It occurs when your brain fails to spread signals to your breathing muscles. For this reason, you are unable to make any effort to breathe for a short period. Thus, might awaken with shortness of breath or have a tough time getting back to sleep or staying asleep.

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References:

  1. Sleep Apnea – Symptoms and Causes – Mayo Clinic
  2. Sleep Apnea – Types, Common Causes, Risk Factors – WebMD

 

 

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