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Sleep Apnea

If you’re experiencing unexplained daytime drowsiness, loud snoring, or waking up breathless, you might be among the many dealing with sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This happens multiple times per hour and disrupts the normal sleep cycle, leading to inadequate rest.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

Common symptoms include loud snoring, waking up gasping or choking, morning headaches, excessive daytime drowsiness, insomnia, and falling asleep unintentionally during the day.

Types of Sleep Apnea

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Caused by a physical blockage in the airway, usually the collapse of soft tissue in the throat.
  2. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): Occurs when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to muscles controlling breathing.
  3. Mixed Sleep Apnea: A combination of OSA and CSA.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Risk factors include being male, older age, obesity, smoking, use of sedatives, and family history. CSA often affects those with heart or neuromuscular disorders.

Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is serious and can lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, and increased risk of accidents due to fatigue. It can also complicate surgery and medication effectiveness.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Treatment varies from lifestyle modifications, use of oral devices, CPAP machines, to surgery in severe cases. The treatment depends on the severity and type of sleep apnea.

If you suspect a family member has sleep apnea, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider. They may recommend a sleep study for diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatments. Early intervention can prevent further health complications.