Sleep Apnea: Read Symptoms And Act Before It Is Too Late

snerfuStarred Page By snerfu, 28th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Wellness

It is important to recognize symptoms of sleep apnea. Various kinds of apnea exist. This disease is treatable if one takes action quickly. This article is aimed at people who are totally unaware of this ailment. It shows the various treatments options available too.

Timely action for apnea

Most diseases get treatment from second day or the third day onwards, if not the first day itself because their symptoms are evident for all to see. Sleep apnea, however, is not recognized as a potential source of danger and so gets the go by.

Snoring is a sign of sleep apnea

Snoring is so common that people just ignore them. They will even encourage others to snore, saying it helps a person to sleep well. On the contrary, snoring is the first symptom that something is not all right. Apnea literally means ‘interruptions to breath’. That person resumes breathing with a hoarse sound that we recognize as a snore.

What happens when we snore?

When we snore, our breathing pattern is broken. Though many compensate by establishing a snoring pattern, actually the damage has already begun. During nights, our body adopts a lowered rate of metabolic activity. This is necessary since only then metabolic activities like cell regeneration, tissue growth and synthesis of enzymes can occur. When we stop breathing, our metabolic rate shoots up, our body stops growth related activities and begins to solve problem related to irregular breathing.

Symptoms exhibited by patients

Persons who have this disease will show one or more of the following signs. These are related to breath interruption or sleep interruption. One may rectify them if prompt action is taken.
i) Restlessness
ii) Lack of concentration
iii) Poor digestion – loss of appetite
iv) Headaches
v) Elevated blood pressure

Diagnosis

For effective diagnosis, physicians use a polysomnogram test. In this procedure, studies are made of sleep patterns of patient during the night. By studying these reports, it is possible to establish the severity of ailment as also the possible treatment method.
Polysomnogram records breath rate, air flow rate in the room where patient is sleeping, factors affecting comfort like humidity and temperature, position of legs and arms and physical condition of patient (such as suffering from other ailments).

Types of sleep apnea

Broadly speaking there are three kinds of sleep apnea. Each requires different treatment. It does differentiate to an extent between age and sex of patient in that it affects people over 40 years of age and that too male population. People with a large collar size are prone to this ailment.
a) Obstructive type of apnea
b) Central type of apnea
c) Complex type of apnea
When one has obstructive apnea, one will have excessive growth of tissues in nasal passage. This growth occurs either due to excessive weight or obesity or due to onset of diseases. It may also be hereditary meaning the bone structure of patient is formed to obstruct airflow.
In central type of apnea, one has breaks in breathing that is not corrected by brain. The central nervous system of the person stops responding to impulses and so when disruptions to breathing pattern take place, brain does not restart breathing like it normally does.
In the third type, person has both central and obstructive type of sleep apnea. Treatment will involve correction procedure for both types of apnea. This kind of apnea is more common in patients who have obstructive type of apnea since patients will develop resistance to breathing and lead to central type of apnea too.

Treatment for this ailment

Treatment involves combination of drugs and behavioral therapy. Main objectives in treatment revolve around relieving daytime sleepiness and snoring and establishing regular breathing pattern.
a) Mouthpieces
b) Breathing devices
c) Lifestyle changes
d) Surgery
e) Drugs
Oral appliance or mouthpieces is used when person snores but does not have sleep apnea. Adjustments may be required after initially installing the mouthpiece. Jaw repositioning helps the person breathe more easily.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is used to force air into the lungs. Positive pressure keeps the airways open when the patient sleeps. CPAP machine uses a mask to cover the face. This supplies the air under pressure. You may need to adjust size and placement of mask to achieve perfect fit.
Changes to diet may involve inclusion of more vegetable and fruit items. One must avoid medications that have sleeping potion in them. When patient sleeps, the sleeping potion will cause muscles of neck to relax and thus blocks the nasal passage. For this reason, one has to avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime.
When growth of tissues in the oral passage is too much, or if there is abnormal structure present, then surgery is resorted to. Physician will perform surgery to open out the nasal passage and thus relieve the symptoms.
Medication is given to treat the flowing.
i) Nasal congestion if present
ii) Rectify central type symptoms
iii) Treat related diseases like high blood pressure and arrhythmias

Physicians will also advice you to sleep on your side since this will open out your nasal passage.

Action is necessary for snorers

So, do not ignore a snore or a snorer. It could be most dangerous thing you could do. Take immediate action and try to start the treatment without any delay. This will ensure good health and prevent sleep apnea from causing any more damage.

Credits for this page

Photos used in this page are from:
a) Flickr issued under the Creative Commons license allowing commercial use.
Sleeping Lion by William Warby
b) Pixabay Public Domain Photos

I thank my friends and followers for their "hey don't do that and do this". I thank moderators for their patience and support.

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Tags

Apnea, Breathing, Patient, Sleep, Sleep Apnea, Snore, Symptom, Treatment

Meet the author

author avatar snerfu
Bachelor, Christian, 53, settled in Madurai, India, like to watch football and tennis on TV. I also have occasional walks but try to read the Bible daily. For amusement, I read the newspaper.

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Comments

author avatar C.D. Moore
28th Aug 2014 (#)

Very useful,interesting article,Snerfu.

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author avatar snerfu
28th Aug 2014 (#)

Hello Ms Moore, so nice to see you. Thanks.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
28th Aug 2014 (#)

Helpful information...thanks snerfu...

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author avatar snerfu
29th Aug 2014 (#)

Hello Ms Powers, hope you are keeping ahead of your garden.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
28th Aug 2014 (#)

this is most informative indeed...many thanks snerfu...

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author avatar snerfu
29th Aug 2014 (#)

hello cnwriter, good to see you

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author avatar Retired
28th Aug 2014 (#)

Very useful information and advice, Snerfu. Thanks for sharing this.

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author avatar snerfu
31st Aug 2014 (#)

Thanks for encouraging me Mr Thorne.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
28th Aug 2014 (#)

I know many people affected. Your advice is good. Thanks!

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author avatar snerfu
31st Aug 2014 (#)

Hello Ms Campbell, Sure is nice to see you.

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author avatar Erly
31st Aug 2014 (#)

Hi snerfu? Thanks for sharing this article, well-elaborated and informative.One would get rid-off loud snoring the possible effect.Thanks.

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author avatar snerfu
31st Aug 2014 (#)

Yes Erly, thanks for stopping by.

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author avatar snerfu
31st Aug 2014 (#)

Yes Ms Erly. It helps and thanks for stopping by.

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author avatar SauravBanerjee
1st Sep 2014 (#)

Sleep apnea can be dangerous if not diagnosed early! Good article. Very informative!

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author avatar snerfu
1st Sep 2014 (#)

Yes indeed Mr Banerjee. So nice of you to give me the look up.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
1st Sep 2014 (#)

Well presented Snerfu. I used to know of some snorers who created mayhem (hell) around and now people are more aware that it is treatable - siva

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author avatar snerfu
1st Sep 2014 (#)

Hello Siva, hope things are panning out well. Give a beep when you get out of hospital. Snorers pride themselves on their snores -- it sometimes leads to deadly diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease. But of course, if they want they can have it corrected medically.

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