What Is Sleep Apnea? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Sleep apnea is a common and serious sleep disorder that causes you to have shortness of breath or stop sleeping altogether. In some cases, this breathing interval (called apnea) can be as long as 10 seconds or more, and it can be 30 times or more per hour.

An estimated 30 million people in the United States suffer from sleep deprivation. (1) Statistics published in the May 1, 2013 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology show that the disorder is significantly more common in men, affecting approximately 14% of men and 5% of women. Are (2)

Although some chronic health problems increase the risk of sleep apnea and make it more common in the elderly, factors such as enlarged tonsils or other structures in the throat can cause sleep apnea at any age (even in childhood). ) Can develop.

And although the condition is normal, it is often diagnosed because many symptoms, such as loud snoring, shortness of breath and shortness of breath – occur during sleep, when people do not even realize it. That’s what’s happening. (3)

The diagnosis of sleep apnea is so disturbing that if left untreated, the condition can lead to a number of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and the risk of sudden death. And because this sleep disorder is associated with daytime sleepiness, it has been found to be the cause of many devastating industrial and transportation accidents.

Proper identification and treatment of sleep disorders can also play a role in protecting the public, says Ronald Cherwin, past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and professor of sleep medicine, professor of neurology, and director of sleep disorders. They say Centers at the University of Michigan.

“Sleep deprivation is a public health problem,” he says.

There Are Three Different Types of Sleep Apnea

All sleep apnea is characterized by recurrent obstructions to breathing, but the underlying cause of the obstruction is different. The main types of sleep apnea are: (4)

This is a common form of sleep apnea, says Neeraj Kaplish, MD, director of sleep laboratories at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

When we sleep, the muscles in our body, including our throat, naturally soften. In general, the airway is so open that it is free to enter the air during sleep. But in the case of sleep deprivation, your airway is very narrow (sometimes due to the way you are born and other times because body weight causes excess fat to accumulate in the throat), and when you When you relax your muscles during sleep, the back of your throat can block your airway.

This obstruction of the airway can cause loud snoring, snoring, or panting for air during sleep (although not everyone with obstructive sleep nails and anyone who snores has sleep apnea).

Lack of central sleep apnea occurs when something is damaged by pointing to the muscle that controls the body’s breathing in the brain in a normal way, which causes the breath to stop repeatedly or become very turbulent. ۔

Robson Kapasa, head of sleep surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California and chief associate professor of otolaryngology and MD of Ned Surgery, says that in contrast to sleep deprivation caused by physical disruption, central sleep apnea is a neurological disorder. There is a problem.

People with central sleep deprivation often suffer from a disease or condition that affects the brain, the area of ​​the brain that controls breathing. Health conditions associated with central sleep apnea include Parkinson’s disease, stroke, heart failure, or a brain infection. Dr Capso says some drugs that interfere with how well the brain sends signals to muscles, such as sedatives, opioids, or benzodiazepines, may play a central role in sleep evidence.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome When complex sleep apnea occurs when someone has both interrupted sleep apnea and central apnea at the same time.

People who have this type of sleep deprivation often feel that it is just a lack of sleep. But when they are treated in the same condition (usually a breathing machine that gently presses air into your airway during sleep using a mask that fits your nose and mouth) And their sleep is not as good as expected, doctors realize that there is also central sleep apnea.

Causes and Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea

During sleep, your brain relaxes a lot during sleep because of the muscles and soft tissues in your brain, you have to block your way again and again. Usually, it is caused by the anatomy and anatomy of your throat or, in some cases, certain medical conditions. (5)

However, it is important to understand that there are some risk factors that can increase your chances of getting sleep deprivation, some issues you can avoid, and others (such as family history) that you cannot. Are There are some common risk factors for sleep apnea.

Large adenoids or tonsils
Having a lower jaw that is on the wrong mark or smaller than the upper jaw
A family history of sleep apnea
Type 2 diabetes
Heart failure
Alcohol and some drug use
A brain infection or tumor, stroke, or other condition that can affect the brain

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Do you think you may lack sleep? Here are some common symptoms that may indicate that you have this condition:

Feeling tired and sleepy during the day despite getting seven or more hours of sleep a night
Waking up with a dry mouth
Experiencing morning pain
Trouble with attention, concentration, and memory
Decreased sex drive or sexual dysfunction
Shortness of breath, problems with your body swallowing, weakness or numbness, changes in voice (all people who lack central sleep are more common)
In addition, your partner or family members may tell you that they have observed one or more of the following:

Chronic scratches that can be extremely high
Repeated pauses for breathing, followed by shortness of breath

How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

To diagnose sleep apnea, your doctor will most likely begin by recording your complete medical history and physical examination. After reviewing this information, your doctor may recommend a sleep study.

Sleep studies can sometimes be done at home, and in other cases they are done during an overnight stay at a sleep clinic. A sleep study, called polysonography, will monitor and measure things like your blood oxygen level. Heart rate How well the air flows through your lungs, nose and mouth. Brain waves And breathe intermittently, to determine if you have a lack of sleep.

Your doctor may also perform tests to diagnose sleep-related medical conditions. Some possible tests include an echocardiogram to look at the structure and features of the heart to assess for heart failure and other health problems. Electrocardiogram (EKG) to scan for atrial fibrillation such as irregular heartbeat; Or blood gases to measure the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood.


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