All about Chronic Sleep Apnea You must Know
Chronic sleep apnea can endanger your life. It can cause you to suffer more serious complication. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects more men than women. People who suffer from this sleep problem experience episodes of breathing difficulties while sleeping. These breathing difficulties can be in the form of breathing pauses and shallow breathings. These episodes can last from 10 seconds to 20 seconds. Due to these breathing problems, people with sleep apnea will wake up several times at night. In consequence, they cannot get enough sleep and feel worn-out in the morning.
The cause and symptoms of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea happens because the throat walls relax and blocks the airway. This kind of disorder is called obstrutctive sleep apnea. If the airway is blocked totally, it is called apnea. And if the airway is blocked partially, it is called hypopnea. This sleeping disorder is triggered by several factors. Some of them are being obese, having large neck, male, being 65 year old and over, drinking alcohol, and smoking.
Another cause of sleep apnea is the inability of the neurological controls for breathing rate to signal the person to inhale. Because of this condition, the person stops breathing for several seconds. This condition is called central sleep apnea. It is less common than obstructive sleep apnea.
The major symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. People with this sleeping problem will snore while sleeping. And when the apnea episodes happen, the snore will stop and followed with gasping or choking. You may not be able to observe these symptoms on your own. Asking your bed partner to observe these symptoms will be your best alternative. Other symptoms of sleep apnea are feeling irritable in the morning, morning headache, memory problem, and learning problem.
Health risks caused by sleep apnea
Chronic sleep apnea will cause several complications. Some of the side effects caused by this sleeping disorder are poor concentration and slow reflex. People who suffer from chronic sleep apnea will also feel drowsy during the day. The combination of these three side effects will resulted in higher risk of accident. If they are driving, their poor concentration and drowsiness can endanger their life and others.
People with sleep apnea also have higher risk of suffering from high blood pressure. The reading of their blood pressure will not drop even when they are sleeping. Other serious complications that are linked to sleep apnea are stroke, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
How to treat sleep apnea
Certain kind of sleep apnea can be treated by a change of lifestyle. If your sleep apnea is caused by obesity, smoking, or drinking alcohol, then you must change your lifestyle. You must start dieting and stop drinking alcohol and smoking. You must also avoid having meals and caffeinated drink two hours before bed. You must not taking sleeping pills either. Using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) or MAD (Mandibular Advancement Device) can also help stopping the episodes of apnea or hypopnea. Some other tricks to avoid having chronic sleep apnea are sleeping on your side and prop your head up when sleeping.