7 Facts about Sleep Apnea You Should Know
7 facts about sleep Apnea you should know
Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that causes an involuntary cessation of breathing in an individual while sleeping. Individuals with sleep apnea have an unregulated breathing pattern which causes them to stop breathing for some seconds during sleep. This disorder is common among adults and can prove fatal if left untreated for a long time. The fatality is because the brain and other organs do not receive enough oxygen during sleep for optimal function of the body system.
Although not easily detected because of its seemingly non-severe symptoms, sleep apnea can be dangerous to the health and can cause certain complications like depression and hypertension.
People with sleep apnea usually snore excessively, feel fatigued or groggy after waking up from bed, have morning headache, feel sleepy during the day, or become irritable.
Here are seven facts about sleep apnea you may know.
- It’s more common in men than women
One of the causes of sleep apnea is as a result of obesity, and because men are more prone to obesity, this disorder is more common in men. Women also suffer from sleep apnea when they approach menopause or, sometimes, show more symptoms after menopause. Studies have proven that 24 percent of men have this problem, while only 9 percent of women do. Although the disorder is not common among children, kids have been diagnosed with it. 1 out of 10 children is affected by this ailment, although, sometimes the symptoms are mild, and the child may outgrow it, other times, sleep apnea can follow the child into adulthood.
- Most people who have sleep apnea are unaware of it
Since this disorder has a lot of symptoms that are broad and slow to detect, the majority of people that have sleep apnea are not aware they do. According to research done on the subject, 80 percent of people suffering from this health condition go undiagnosed.
- It can be hereditary
According to Shalini Paruthi, MD, a fellow doctor of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep apnea can be hereditary. Kids may inherit particular facial features from parents such as a recessed chin, a large tonsil, or a large overbite, which may make them prone to sleep apnea. Parents can understand these peculiar features to help spot the ailment early in their children.
- Sleep apnea is a common cause of depression
Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Disorders Center, Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, has shown that some people suffering from depression do so as a result of sleep apnea. What’s more, treating such patients’ depression never seems to get solved. However, when it was diagnosed that they had a sleep disorder and were treated for sleep apnea, the depression began to improve.
- A change in lifestyle can improve the disorder
Treatment of sleep apnea can be facilitated if patients adopt a healthy lifestyle that reduces risk factors. Such healthy practices include: quitting alcohol and smoking, engaging in exercise to induce weight loss, and discontinuation of sleeping pills if currently used. Changing of sleep position – sleeping on one’s side instead of on one’s back.
- Treatment can cure sleep apnea
A change in lifestyle only helps when it is combined with adequate treatment. People with this ailment can seek any of the alternatives explained below:
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy: One of the most common ways for people looking to treat sleep apnea is to go for CPAP therapy. This is a simple method where a constant stream of pressure is supplied to the lungs through a mask. The mask itself can be adjusted to allow comfortability and relieve any nasal problems that may arise. You can visit Easy CPAP for CPAP Mask and parts.
Surgery: A patient can undergo a procedure to remove swollen tonsils and excessive tissue that may obstruct the free flow of air. The severity of the disorder often determines the extent of the surgery.
Mandibular repositioning device (MRD): This piece of equipment is made to hold the jaw in place while a patient is asleep. This allows an expansion of the space behind the tongue, thereby keeping the upper airway open. This way, the mouth is kept ajar, preventing snoring and sleep apnea.
- Untreated sleep apnea can lead to further complications
Sleep apnea, if not detected early and left untreated, can cause severe complications like heart failure, stroke, hypertension, impaired cognitive abilities, glaucoma, etc.
Sleep apnea should never be underestimated, once discovered, immediate treatment should be sought because the ailment only gets worse with time. People with untreated sleep apnea also cause discomfort to their spouse. Some of these include sleep deprivation and emotional exhaustion because of the many symptoms known to be familiar with people who possess the disorder. Nipping it in the bud through adequate treatment is the only way to avoid further complications it may bring.