Sleep Apnea is common among adults and becoming more common in children. Untreated sleep apnea can affect your daily life and may also result in serious problems like heart disease. Sleep apnea can also cause severe long-term health issues.
As sleep apnea often gets ignored, undiagnosed, and untreated, let’s learn more about its symptoms, causes, and treatment.
What is Sleep Apnea?
A person suffering from sleep apnea experiences repeated interruptions in breathing while sleeping. This can happen continuously or several times during the sleep and leads to low oxygen levels in the body and brain.
There are two types of sleep apnea
1 – Central sleep apnea (CSA)
Central sleep apnea is a disease where the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. Due to this, there is no muscular effort to take a breath. This usually happens in adults with heart disease or congenital diseases. It can also happen at high altitudes and in newborn babies.
2 – Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
OSA occurs due to the blockage of the airway. It generally occurs during sleep when the soft tissue in the backside of the throat collapses. It prevents an adequate flow of air as the airway becomes obstructed. The normal breathing air flow is repeatedly stopped throughout during the midnight because the airway in the throat is too narrow. It leads to snoring and other serious health problems like diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and heart disease.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea symptoms are often taken lightly or get ignored but this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously. Snoring is one of the earliest symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) but it is often ignored or dismissed. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) reduces the oxygen intake as the airway is repeatedly blocked, hampering the regular breathing patterns. This leads to visible symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and memory loss that can impair day-to-day functioning.
Only around 2% of people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea actually consult a physician. Below mentioned are some of the symptoms of sleep apnea:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Loud snoring
- Gasping or choking during midnight
- Sore throat or dry mouth at early morning
- Stopped breathing during sleep
- Depression or irritability
- Daytime headache
- Concentration Issues
- High blood pressure
- Nighttime sweating
Role of CPAP in Treating Sleep Apnea
A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine is often prescribed for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. While it might not be needed for mild cases, it is absolutely recommended for those suffering from severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea.
Additionally, if sleep apnea is left untreated, it can lead to cardiovascular complications such as heart arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, or coronary artery disease while at the same time increasing the risk of stroke. These are significant life-threatening conditions that could lead to hospitalization or death.
The BPL MedTech’s CPAP & BiPAP device provides continuous airway pressure, preventing the throat from becoming obstructed. The machine performs an important function for the body and goes a long way towards preventing the health conditions mentioned above. In short, a CPAP/ BiPAP device perform
s a life-saving function and should be used as suggested by a doctor. You can buy it from our Amazon store.
Weight Loss: Losing weight can be very helpful. A little weight loss can also help open up your throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms.
Regular Exercise: Doing regular exercise like resistance training, yoga, aerobics, etc helps to strengthen the muscles in your airways and improves breathing.
Sleeping Right: Lying on your side is the best way to sleep as it helps keep your airway open. Lying on your back can cause the jaw, tongue, and other soft tissues to drop back toward the throat, narrowing your airway. Sleeping on your stomach also obstructs breathing.
Things to Avoid: Avoid alcohol, smoking, anti-anxiety medication, and other sedatives, especially before bedtime, because they relax the muscles in the throat.