Sleep apnea is an advanced critical situation of snoring. It is the moment when your breathing cavity is blocked during sleeping and oxygen cannot get into your brain.
The danger of sleep apnea lies in the fact that it occurs during your unconscious period. The time when you are unaware and inactive to prevent yourself from getting hit by the disorder. When sleep apnea becomes frequent, it poses the threat of headache, depression, constant fatigue, stroke, heart attack, and sometimes death.
The disorder sleep apnea has its meaning gotten from the Greek language which means “wanting to breath”.
How can Sleep Apnea Kill You?
Sleep apnea is a condition of sleep where the breathing function of an individual is hampered severely. It is slightly a breakaway from living because it prevents oxygen from getting into the lungs. At this moment, the heart will stop pumping blood, and chances of the body becoming permanently inactive is closer.
When this happens, the reflexes of the individual cause the individual to shake and wake with sudden coughs or sweats with the heart rate increasing ten times than before. The risk of heart attack is feasible in this scenario. Sleep apnea can lead to death when the breathing rate reduces for about 30 minutes and no action taken to induce the individual through artificial oxygen placement.
However, the situation of sleep apnea is less risky when breathing is ruptured with an inconsistent calculation for about or less than10 minutes.
Types of Sleep Apnea
1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is also known as OSA. It is a partial blockage of the airways during sleep. Statistics show that it mostly affects males with records showing that 45 of men get OSA and 2% of women are affected by the disorder. It is mild compared to the other types of sleep apnea as any affected individual can decide not to seek treatment and still live properly and a little unbothered.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tongue shifts slightly backward during sleep causing the flowing of air in to the throat be blocked. The air going into the throat to the lungs when blocked resist blood flows into the brain, The brain reacts to it by sending signals of an urgent need for air. Which makes the individual suddenly wake during sleep. The immediate effect of this sudden wake is done by coughing or sneezing from sleep, choking, and snorting.
There are three kinds of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. They include:
- Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Individuals who experience mild OSA carry about 5-14 bouts of the air blockage in one hour during sleep. For people with moderate OSA, they have about 15-30 bouts of air blockage and those suffering from severe OSA have about 30 or more rounds of air blockage.
What Are the causes of OSA
- Excessive weight
- Large nostrils
- Genetic problem
- Old age
2. Central Sleep Apnea
This is an advanced form of the OSA. In this situation, the brain does not detect the muscle responsible for the control of breathing. Unlike the OSA, the tongue is not responsible for the blockage of air. The brain faults in the recognition of the muscle that levels the breathing speed. It is not a mechanical problem as it is for OSA. It is shortened as CSA.
The CSA is very uncommon and is a result of brain malfunction. It occurs more in males than in females. Aged people from about 60 years and above, and individuals who take opioids are prone to the CSA disorder.
Some symptoms of the CSA include; Mood change, lack of concentration, difficulty in catching sleeop, morning headaches.
Causes of CSA
- Brain infection
- Heart failure
- Parkinson disease
3. Mixed Sleep Apnea
The condition when both Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea affect an individual is known as Mixed Sleep Apnea. For short it is called the MSA. An individual suffers from an MSA when the treatment for OSA becomes futile which advances into the CSA making room for both conditions to thrive. It is also very uncommon among humans.
The MSA is a critical sleep condition that requires the attention of a medical practitioner. Of all technicalities in the treatments of OSA, the Continous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is delicate. It is a therapeutic solution that only does not solve the disorder but induces sleep in the individual. The therapy requires the partial split of the airways to allow the free flow of air into the throat. But the aftermath makes the individual to irregular sleep difficulty.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Some scientists made it clear that mild sleep apnea does not require surgery as a treatment but it could be the only solution when it gets out of hand. To all kinds of sleep apnea, the following are recommended methods in doing so.
What Are the Natural Remedies for Sleep Apnea?
Live a healthy lifestyle. Avoid excessive consumption of food which can increase your weight and make you head on the pathway of obesity. Obesity increases your chances of snoring constantly and makes your air pathway blocked.
Consistent exercises can reduce your risk in getting a sleep apnea. Even if you eat excessively, you should balance it properly and cut off the fats by exercising consistently. At least mornings an nights on week days and a day on weekends.
Doing yoga is also another form of exercise that will help you manage your sleep apnea. Yoga increases your flexibility and helps increasing your energy level.
Flexible Sleep Pattern
Having an inconsistent sleep pattern or style can help to reduce sleep apnea. You should be flexible to switch your sleep style from being a back sleeper to being a side sleeper. It helps to give your body a different kind of comfort which in the long run helps the airflow into your throat. You should adopt the three different sleeping positions if you want do want to put yourself at risk of getting sleep apnea.
Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is known as CPAP.
- Automatic Positive Airway Pressure is also known as APAP.
- Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP).
- Using the Mandibular Advancement Devices
- Making use of tongue retaining mouthpieces
- Going for a surgery
You can also read how to test for sleep apnea yourself here.
There are 4 different types of surgery to treat the OSA
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
- Nasal Surgery
- Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA)
Treatment for Central Sleep Apnea
- Brain check-up
- Applying the Continous Positive Airway Pressure known as CPAP.
- Making use of the Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure known as BPAP.
- Using the adaptive-servo ventilation device that monitors breathing and makes sure air flows through the right pathway.
- Following the medical guide on medications by taking Acetazolamide (Diamox), Theophylline (Theo-24), and Theochron.
- Sourcing for therapies such as phrenic nerve stimulation. It is the process of injecting a device that stimulates the phrenic nerve in the chest to make it send signals to the diaphragm to regulate breathing. It is a recommended therapy by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States.
Treatment for Mixed Sleep Apnea
- Using the Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure known as BPA.
- Using the adaptive-servo ventilation.
What Are the Side Effects of a CPAP?
The CPAP is one of the most successful therapy to counter be it completely or partial reduction of sleep apnea. However, it is recorded to have mild side effects on individuals who use it constantly.
- Runny Nose
- Stomach bloating
- Claustrophobia (the fear of closed places)
- Skin irritation
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
How to prevent the side effects of CPAP therapy?
1. Avoid using oily products
Restrict oil completely from your CPAP machine. Oil can damage the appearance of your machine. It leaves a permanent stain on your CPAP machine and they become bad to use.
2. Clean your CPAP mask regularly
You should cultivate the habit of cleaning your mask regularly after use. It removes the residue of the previous test and leaves no traces of germs or bacteria.
3. Make sure you use a mask barrier
One of the side effects of using a CPAP machine is skin irritation. To avoid skin irritation, try to get a barrier between the mask and your skin. It helps to prevent skin rash and chances of irritation.
4. Use a good pressure
It is advisable to obey the instructions of a medical guide always. The medical guide gives the proper air pressure to use for your CPAP machine. This pressure should be followed at all times. Going against this pressure can cause an allergy in your system which might become permanent and sometimes might lead to difficulty in breathing and exhaling.
5. Use the ramp on your machine
The ramp helps you to get the exact and needed pressure for your CPAP therapy. Hence, it is good to use the ramp on the machine. The ramp helps to regulate the pressure of the machine by starting from very low pressure to the prescribed pressure you need.
Facts about Sleep Apnea
- It can lead to other health problems if not treated
- It is most common with people who snore.
- To treat sleep apnea, you do not require a surgery
- It affects all ages of humans.
You can learn more about the effects of snoring at night here
Having a proper medical check-up schedule will save you any stress or impending risk that your daily engagements might put up. The medical guide is readily available to give solutions to any issue that poses threats to your health.
At the sight of any symptom of the types of sleep apnea, consulting the medical practitioner is the best and first step to conquering any sleep apnea. Remember that untreated sleep apnea will lower your performance rate and will eventually lead to a heart attack or death, it is advisable to treat it as early as possible.