Sleep apnea - the enemy of healthy rest
All over the world around five percent of population suffers from sleep apnea. Sick people can be more numerous as not many people know that they are actually sick. Sleep apnea symptoms are not easy noticeable if someone sleeps alone. Often partner, family members or close friends alarm us about them before us. It is reported that sleep apnea couses damage not only to affected person health. Even our close ones can be partially affected by it. But let's learn more about this in sleep breath disorder.
What is sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is cessation of breathing which occurs many times during sleep time of sick person. While in sleep our muscles tend to relax and collapse with gravity. Same thing happens with our ties, arms muscles and even tongue. Tongue of sick person will fall too deep into throat causing problem with normal breathing. Healthy person without apnea problems will still breathe without pause (even if person is sleeping on its back). Lungs, and upper respiratory airways will be forced to restart their normal activity by brain signal telling our body to wake up, change position and inhale more air with force. This process repeats itself many times during sleep. In long run it can damage our health greatly.
What we need to know is there are few factors increasing risk of having sleep apnea:
- Smoking. It increases inflammation of lungs and throat. It leads eventually to fluid retention in those areas. This impedes natural airflow in lungs.
- Drinking alcohol to often. Alcohol relaxes our muscles. If we drink it often, then its more likely that we will suffer from collapsing tongue, during our sleep. What happens next we already know.
- Genetics. Some people can have genetically narrower throats.
- Enlarged adenoids and tonsils can because of bad airflow during sleep.
- People from age forty and older are often diagnosed with sleep apnea. With age our natural muscle tension becomes weaker. Same is true for our throat and tongue.
- Being overweight also adds problems to breathing during sleep. Body fat is also stored in our necks. Then this fat creates unnatural pressure in neck area and throat. Such conditions almost always lead to big problems with normal sleep and breathing.
What are sleep apnea symptoms?
There are few of them:
- Because of breathing pauses many times at night, during the day we can feel tired no matter how many hours we have slept.
- Waking up with dry mouth. Its often accompanied with sore throat.
- Morning headaches.
- Pauses in breathing.
- Choking and snoring during sleep.
- Uncharacteristic depression.
Sleep apnea treatment - how to cure apnea?
We can do many things to help ourselves. We can visit doctor and ask him to help us, we can keep our weight in check. Let's stop smoking, and drinking too much. Being overweight does not help with stopping apnea. As we can see sleep apnea couses and sleep apnea treatment are connected. We can apply this rule to other causes. We can train our jaw muscles by chewing gum regularly, we can sleep on our side. Other idea is to sleep in elevated position. We should be able to elevate upper body with help of pillows or special bed type that allows sleeping in such position. Its often enough to stop sleep apnea. In extreme cases of sleep apnea doctor can advise his patients use of dental devices, breathing devices, implants and even surgery. Of course its better to eliminate causes than to cure with such extreme measures. But the choice is ours.
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