Sleep Apnea: what you need to know about sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea: what you need to know about sleep apnea

After eight hours of sleep, you wake up in the morning just as tired at bedtime. You doze off sometimes in broad daylight. You find it difficult or impossible to concentrate.Your partner has noticed that you stop breathing repeatedly during the night. You may be suffering from sleep apnea syndrome, as is the case for more than three million Canadians.

Causes of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is due to a narrowing of the pharynx associated with muscle relaxation.This narrowing is common among most of us. It is usually characterized by snoring.However, in people suffering from sleep apnea, the relaxation is such that the airway is partially obstructed (hypopnea) or completely (apnea). The person stops breathing so for shorter or longer periods: for some ten seconds, more than a minute to others.
This phenomenon is observed five to ten times per hour of sleep, disrupting it. Among those most affected, the situation may occur more than a hundred times a night. They then wake up for short periods and then will experience the same problem once back to sleep. In others, apnea cause of insomnia or extreme fatigue.

Excess soft tissue in the pharynx or deficit level development of the jaw and neck is generally responsible for sleep apnea syndrome. For some, the throat muscles are too relaxed to keep the airway open. In other cases, language or fatty tissue block them, causing the same phenomenon.

Sleep apnea: victims

Some people are more likely to develop sleep apnea: those who are obese or who have large tonsils, for example. The men, usually after 40 years, are often victims of this syndrome. The gentlemen whose neck circumference greater than 17 inches (43 cm) and women with neck longer than 16 inches (40 cm), especially after menopause, can also be achieved.

A receding chin or an overabundance of fatty tissue are sometimes responsible for the phenomenon, as well as overeating, alcohol consumption, use of tranquilizers or hypnotics.

Sleep apnea: risks

Besides reducing the quality night’s sleep of the person affected, the phenomenon has serious health consequences. Clinical studies have shown that sleep apnea syndrome is a recognized cause of hypertension. More importantly, these repetitive interruptions of breathing weary heart. The victim runs the risk of developing coronary artery disease.

As if this were not enough, the researchers also demonstrated that 60% of those who suffered a stroke are also the syndrome. The latter found most difficult health conditions acceptable, while the risk of death during the attack itself is five times higher.

In addition, victims develop more easily resistant to insulin, which usually causes a type 2 diabetes.

What follows is a real deterioration in the quality of life. In addition to fatigue and excessive sleepiness, the victim may have headache, lack energy, have trouble concentrating or memory loss, feeling a deterioration in his mood, or spells of depression.

The person will constantly tired and therefore less efficient at work. It will reduce the quantity and quality of exercise, which further mortgaging its performance.Furthermore, the reduction of activity due to this state of fatigue, may lead to weight gain. However, these additional pounds amplify apnea.

Driving a motor vehicle or operate machinery that requires constant attention can also be very dangerous.

Sleep apnea: diagnosis

If you think you might have this syndrome, a sleep specialist may perform some tests in a clinic or at home, to confirm or refute the diagnosis. The examination is the most common respiratory polygraphy: this is to record all night long, the respiratory and cardiac rhythms, as well as the oxygen in the blood.

More complete polysomnography compiles the parameters described above, as well as brain activity during different stages of sleep.

Sleep apnea: treatment

The best treatment against sleep apnea is the application of a facemask connected to a pump. This system allows to inject a constant flow of air into the airways to keep them open.

Other experts suggest the use of dental braces that prevent the throat from closing, or the tongue from obstructing the airway. Some require surgery, but the results are often mixed.

Simple changes in your lifestyle can also reduce the risk of sleep apnea. Losing weight, quitting smoking, alcohol or sedatives may improve your condition.

Recognize sleep apnea

A life partner may collect if you have the syndrome if at night you stop breathing for a few moments. But if you’re single, this little quiz can you put a flea in his ear.

– After eight hours sleep, are you tired in the morning?
– Do you snore?
– Are you sleepy during the day?
– Are you easily irritated?
– Have trouble concentrating?
– Do you suffer from hypertension or heart disease?

If you answered yes to four or more questions, you may wish to consult.

Good night!