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Know Your Sleep Apnea: Symptoms, Causes and How to Overcome It

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which breathing often stops during sleep. As a result, the brain may not get enough oxygen, sleep quality being bad and can make sufferers feel tired the next day.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea disrupts a person's breathing during sleep. This condition is particularly serious disease if left untreated, because it can cause a person to stop breathing.

This causes shallow breathing several times when the sufferer is asleep, so the body, especially the brain, lack of oxygen. A brief pause in breathing this can take place in just a few seconds to a few minutes. It can also occur very frequently, sometimes going up to 30 times in the span of an hour.

This breathing pause may be able to cause serious health problems in a long time. In the worst case, this can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, headaches, and depression.

Sleep apnea is very common. Usually occur in more men than women, which is around 2-3 men-1 woman. This condition can occur at any age, with sufferers but more happened on middle-aged adults. Sleep apnea can be treated by reducing these risk factors.

There are two types of sleep apnea:

1. Obstructive Sleep apnea that is the more common type is caused by a blockage in the breathing passages.
2. Central Sleep apnea: not caused by blockage of the respiratory tract, but not caused by stable breathing control center. As a result, the brain fails to give a signal so that the muscles of breathing.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
  • Snoring.
  • Other folks realized there was some interruption of breath while you sleep.
  • A sudden wake up accompanied by shortness of breath.
  • Wake up with dry mouth or sore throat.
  • Headache in the morning.
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
  • Drowsiness during the day the excess (hypersomnia).

  • The cause of obstructive sleep apnea is different from central sleep apnea. In obstructive sleep apnea, when the back muscles of the throat relax, the respiratory tract narrows and closes while breathing.

    This can reduce oxygen in the body. This condition realizes the brain and wake the sufferer from sleep to reopen the respiratory tract. Usually wake up very briefly to sufferers with sleep apnea do not remember it.

    While in central sleep apnea, the patient's brain fails to send signals to the muscles to breathe. This makes the muscles not breathe for some time. Patients can wake up with shortness of breath or have difficulty sleeping.

    What are the usual tests are done in order to know the sleep apnea? Diagnosis of sleep apnea can be started by asking the symptoms experienced by sufferers, a physical examination, including blood pressure, measure the height, weight and the neck, as well as the examination of blood.

    Tests to detect sleep apnea include:
    • Nocturnal polysomnography.
    • Home sleep testing: measuring heart rate, oxygen levels in the blood, air flow and breathing patterns.

    In addition to the observation of sleep in medical facilities, it can also be done at home with a recording device to observe the patient's sleep at home. The tool is recording the levels of oxygen in the blood, heart rate, breathing patterns, and air flow. If patients experience sleep apnea, the test results will show low levels of oxygen when the apnea, but increased again when waking up.

    What are the changes in lifestyle or home-based treatment that can be done to address and reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea? Lifestyle and home remedies that can help you overcome sleep apnea include:
    • Reduce excess body weight.
    • Sports.
    • Avoid alcohol and certain drugs such as tranquilizers and sleeping pills.
    • Sleep on your side or on your stomach rather than sleeping on your back.
    • Keep your nasal channels remain open during nighttime.
    • Stop smoking if you are a smoker.

    This article is just informative only and not medical referable. Contact your doctor to consult the problem if you feel you are suffering from sleep apnea or experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea. A list of the symptoms of sleep apnea is not only that, there are still some other symptoms that have not been detected or symptoms that are not described here.
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