Sleep apnea is a disorder of breathing during sleep. This is one of the most common medical conditions that affect millions of people. However, as serious as it is, it is actually curable.
Sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the lungs about the need for a breath. The brain is actually sending its own signal to the lungs, which the brain interprets as an involuntary action. As a result, oxygen-rich blood from the lungs is not allowed to reach the body’s tissues and organs, and these are damaged.
This is a very rare occurrence and only occurs in people with high-functioning intelligence. However, there are other reasons why sleep apnea occurs. One such reason is the medical conditions that hinder breathing during sleep.
Sleep apnea can also be caused by heart problems, which cause blockage of the arteries to the lungs. Thus, when the body releases chemicals that are necessary for the heart to function properly, this causes the soft tissues and muscles to relax, making it difficult for the heart to pump oxygenated blood through the body. This results in less oxygen reaching the tissues and organs during sleep.
Other causes of sleep apnea include poor circulation in the body and physiological disorders. It is also important to note that some other medical conditions can cause breathing difficulties while sleeping. Diseases like Diabetes and multiple sclerosis can cause serious complications.
Different people have different degrees of apnea. The major indicators are episodes of interrupted breathing when the person stops breathing for a few seconds. There are cases where they stop breathing for a few minutes, and still others who have episodes where they stop breathing for as long as 20 minutes.
There are certain symptoms of sleep apnea, which could indicate whether the person is suffering from this condition. It is usually noted that during the apnea episodes, the person may find it difficult to speak or breathe deeply. They may also be yawning too much or using the mouth when sleeping.
Some people do not suffer from all the different symptoms, but the symptoms tend to be more prominent in cases where they are more prevalent. Some symptoms include headaches, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, poor memory, blurring of vision, reduced level of alertness, and drowsiness. Dizziness and fainting are also some symptoms.
It is usually easier to detect sleep apnea if the person is found to be asleep for more than 10 hours a day. The most common symptom of sleep apnea is, missed, or interrupted periods of breathing while sleeping. However, during periods of deep sleep, the body will start producing less oxygen to keep up with the demand of the body’s muscles.
The treatments for sleep apnea depend on the symptoms experienced. Most physicians recommend the use of a CPAP machine. This is a device that blows air into the nostrils in order to keep the airways open.
Although sleep apnea is curable, there are times when its symptoms do not go away. If this happens, the physician may recommend the use of medications, which help increase oxygen flow. In addition, the muscles of the throat and the lower jaw might be adjusted so that swallowing and breathing will be easier and less stressful.