Sleep Apnea – Understanding the Risks and Treatment Options

Do you feel exhausted even though you slept the whole night? Or does your partner complain about your loud snoring, which suddenly pauses, followed by gasps for air? If you are observing such symptoms, you might be experiencing Sleep Apnea. So let’s begin! 

What exactly is Sleep Apnea? 

Sleep Apnea is a common but serious sleep disorder affecting millions worldwide. In this disorder, you stop breathing while you are asleep. It is a common condition, though, where breathing stops and restarts often while sleeping. 

So your life can be at risk when you don’t get enough oxygen. It usually occurs when the airway becomes blocked because of the relaxation of the throat muscles, and therefore you cannot breathe properly. These pauses can last a few seconds or occur multiple times throughout the night.

Over a while, these complications can become severe. However, this condition is often manageable if you take the correct treatment. And for this, you should consult your healthcare provider, which we will discuss in this article. 

Which are the main types of Sleep Apnea? 

Sleep Apnea is categorized into three types which are: 

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): It’s the most common type of sleep apnea caused by a blockage of the airway. It usually happens because the throat muscles relax. 
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA): It’s a less common type of sleep apnea where the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. 
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome is also named treatment-emergent central sleep apnea and combines OSA and CSA. 

After knowing the critical types of Sleep Apnea, let’s quickly look at its symptoms. 

How to know you are suffering from Sleep Apnea? 

To know whether you are suffering from any disorder, we must know its symptoms. So in this section, we will discuss the various symptoms associated with sleep apnea which are as follows: 

  • Loud and persistent snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Mood changes, such as irritability or depression

These are a few of the symptoms of Sleep Apnea. But it is important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea will snore or experience noticeable pauses in breathing. 

Also, the symptoms mentioned above are closely associated with other sleep disorders or health conditions. Thus, you must consult a healthcare provider if you suspect any of these symptoms. 

Does Sleep Apnea affect Children? 

Yes. Sleep apnea can affect children, although the symptoms may differ from those seen in adults. The symptoms of Sleep Apnea in children are as follows: 

  • Loud snoring
  • Bedwetting
  • Difficulty concentrating or performing well in school
  • Irritability or behavioral problems
  • Restless sleep or frequent tossing and turning

Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous? – Risk Associated with Sleep Apnea 

Sleep Apnea can cause various short-term and long-term problems, which are as follows: 

High blood pressure

This disorder can result in breathing pauses, which can increase blood pressure. It can also worsen the existing high blood pressure. 

Type 2 diabetes

Sleep apnea has been linked to insulin resistance, which can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Heart disease

It can also result in various heart ailments, including coronary artery disease, heart attack, and heart failure. That’s because repeated drops in oxygen levels during sleep can strain the heart. 

Stroke

People with sleep apnea are at a higher risk of stroke because of the increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Daytime fatigue and accidents

You can feel excessive daytime sleepiness, increasing the risk of accidents at work or while driving. 

Reduced quality of life

So when you suffer from Sleep Apnea for a long time, you can significantly impact the quality of your life. You can witness a decrease in your ability to function at work or participate in social activities.

Can Sleep Apnea be cured? – Treatment of Sleep Apnea 

The treatment of any disorder depends on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. The treatment options for Sleep Apnea are as follows: 

Lifestyle changes

It is found that if you often make lifestyle changes, you can reduce sleep apnea symptoms. You can try losing weight and avoiding alcohol and any sedatives before bedtime. If you are smoking, you should quit. 

Consult a Doctor

It is crucial to stay in touch with your doctor or sleep specialist and report any ongoing symptoms or challenges with treatment. This specialized personnel can help you to deal effectively with Sleep Apnea. 

Less Alcohol Consumption 

Even drinking during the daytime can worsen breathing problems at night for people suffering from untreated OSA. So if you are a chronic drinker, you might not like this. But if you suffer from Sleep Apnea, you must reduce alcohol. 

Changing Sleeping Position 

Even though this method is still under study, a few unique products that can avoid back sleeping may help people to reduce their Sleep Apnea symptoms. 

Working with a healthcare professional to ascertain the best treatment for your Sleep Apnea condition is critical. If you don’t pay attention, you can have serious consequences, so make sure that you seek treatment if you suspect any of the conditions mentioned above. 

Final Verdict – Can Sleep Apnea Kill you?

Untreated Sleep Apnea can have a significant impact on your body which can result in serious health ailments. Though you will not immediately die, slowly, you will be drawn into various severe conditions. 

So we recommend you speak to your health care provider if you encounter any sleep apnea symptoms. 

SweetIslandDreams.com answers a lot many questions related to sleep that you may have in your mind.

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