Sleep Apnea: Causes, Dangers, and Remedies

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Sleep Apnea: Causes, Dangers, and Remedies

Sleep Apnea: Causes, Dangers, and Remedies

Sleep apnea is a sleeping problem that causes pauses in breathing. It is commonly identified as when many pauses in breathing, called apneas, happen during sleep. Sleep apnea is typically diagnosed by an in-lab or in-home study called a polysomnogram.

Types of sleep apnea

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder. It occurs when the muscles of your throat repeatedly relax during sleep, causing your airway to collapse and block your breathing. To breathe again, you usually wake up briefly. This cycle of blocking and waking can occur many times throughout the night, leaving you feeling tired and unrested when you wake.

  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome

Complex sleep apnea syndrome (CSAS) is a condition characterized by frequent pauses in breathing during sleep. These breathing disruptions can lead to blood oxygen levels that fall to dangerously low levels. In some cases, these episodes may be life-threatening. There are three types of CSAS: central, obstructive and mixed.

  • Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is the most common type of CSAS. It occurs when your brain temporarily stops sending signals to your respiratory muscles, causing them to relax and stop working for brief periods during sleep. CSA is associated with an increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.

Obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome

Complex sleep apnea syndrome also includes a rare form called obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS). OSAHS is an umbrella term used to describe several disorders in which breathing is interrupted because the throat tissues collapse or block the airway.

Signs that you might have sleep apnea

There are a number of signs that you might have sleep apnea. You may be sleeping well but still, feel tired during the day. A recent study found that people with sleep apnea can wake up feeling more tired than those who don’t have the condition.

Trouble falling asleep at night is another warning sign. If you do fall asleep, you may frequently awaken throughout the night because of breathing problems. These interruptions in your sleep cycle can make you feel tired and sleepy during the day.

You might also find that you snore loudly or gasp for air while asleep. If someone else in your household complains about these sounds, it could be an indication of sleep apnea. You could also experience headaches or notice that you have been groggy during the day, both from interrupted sleep caused by breathing problems at night.

Risk factors and how to avoid them

  • Being overweight

The risk of sleep apnea rises as body mass index (BMI) — a measurement of weight in relation to height — increases. People who are obese are two to three times as likely to have sleep apnea as those with normal BMI. Overweight people also tend not to have symptoms that would prompt them to seek medical attention, so they may go undiagnosed until they develop more serious health problems.

  • How you can avoid being overweight

Losing just 10 percent of your excess body weight can make a big difference in reducing your risk of developing sleep apnea. Losing weight through diet and exercise is difficult, but when you follow a strict diet, you will lose weight with time.

  • Nasal congestion

Nasal congestion is a common problem, especially in cases of the flu, during pregnancy, and with allergies. Nasal congestion can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergens such as pollen. There are several things you can do to prevent nasal congestion:

Wash your bedding frequently and use an air purifier in your bedroom. Remove carpets from your home and vacuum frequently use allergy-proofing air filters in your home, wash your hands frequently during cold and flu season, change your sheets daily if you have allergies take a shower before you go to bed to remove allergens from the daywear clean clothes at night and avoid wearing the same pajamas more than once every three days or so drink lots of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Avoid spicy foods as they may cause an increase in mucus production.

  • Hormone imbalance

Hormone imbalance is a common occurrence in people with sleep apnea. Hormones are chemical substances that are made in the body and travel through the bloodstream to specific cells or organs. They carry out many vital functions, including regulating mood and metabolism.

The most effective way to prevent sleep apnea starts with addressing hormone imbalances that can cause excessive tissue growth in the soft palate, uvula, and tonsils; you can use HGH therapy. Here you can find all details and requirements to get HGH therapy for adults. Doing so can help minimize symptoms and reduce the severity of sleep apnea episodes if they do occur.

  • Medical condition

Sleep apnea can be present at birth or develop later in life. It is often caused by obesity or a medical condition such as heart disease or stroke. Many people with sleep apnea have more than one risk factor. Eat a healthy diet, which is important for maintaining a healthy weight and possibly improving obstructive sleep apnea symptoms (if they are related to heart disease).

  • Smoking

Tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke are the most common causes of sleep apnea. In fact, tobacco use is the biggest risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which makes up about 90 percent of all cases.

What factors worsen Sleep apnea issues?

  • Heart disorders and high pressure

The first thing people with sleep apnea should do is ensure that their high blood pressure is under control. High blood pressure is one of the most common factors that contribute to sleep apnea. When your blood pressure is high, it’s harder for your heart to pump blood through your body, which can make your breathing shallow and cause you to snore loudly.

  • Diabetes

Diabetes and sleep apnea are connected in a variety of ways. There are many medications used to treat sleep apnea that can also worsen the effects of diabetes, and there are a number of other factors that can cause issues between the two conditions.

  • Liver problems

The relationship between sleep apnea and liver problems is that this disorder may cause the liver to release a chemical called C-reactive protein (CRP). High CRP levels in the blood can trigger inflammation, which may contribute to sleep apnea symptoms.

  • Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that occur together, increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These conditions include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Treating sleep apnea has been shown to result in significant improvements in blood pressure levels and blood sugar control, two components of metabolic syndrome. Sleep apnea may be an independent risk factor for developing metabolic syndrome, and it may also worsen your condition once you have it.

When to see a doctor?

When you have a sleep apnea issue, you will have to see your doctor and get tested. You need to know exactly what kind of sleep apnea you have and then find out what the right treatment will be. There are a few tests that you need to undergo to diagnose sleep apnea, and they are very simple, even pleasant.