Sleep Apnea

In this particular module, we are going to discuss the overview, risk factors, symptoms and treatment procedures related to sleep apnea.

Overview and introduction

Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that requires medical intervention. Your breathing pattern gets interrupted especially during your sleep. If you are diagnosed with this particular disorder, you stop breathing, may be, even hundreds of times. In other words, your body may not receive sufficient amount of oxygen during the time you are asleep.

These are the two major forms of sleep apnea you need to know about

Obstructive Sleep apnea or OSA

This is a more common type of sleep apnea over the other type that will be discussed further in the document. Your nasal airway gets blocked or the soft tissues present at the back of your throat collapses during your sleep. Due to the obstructed air passage, you have difficulty breathing, especially when you are fast asleep.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central Sleep Apnea or CSA is the other type of sleep apnea where your central respiratory system gets blocked especially when you are sleeping. And your brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe especially during your sleep. On account of the lack of co-ordination between your heart muscles and your nervous system, your breathing takes a back seat during your sleep. It can lead to serious medical complications and hence you cannot skip a visit to the doctor if the condition persists for weeks or months put together.

Risk factors connected with sleep apnea

These are the following risk factors associated with sleep apnea. In other words, these factors can trigger your incidence of developing an apnea. They are

  • Being over-weight
  • Men are more likely to be impacted with sleep apnea over women
  • Age factor- If you are 40 plus, then you have better chances of getting impacted with sleep apnea.
  • If case you have a large neck and a small jaw line (17 inches or greater in men, 16 inches or greater in women)
  • If you have recently undergone a tonsils removal operation
  • Genetics or family history of sleep apnea
  • Nasal obstruction due to sinus, allergies or deviated septum.
  • Reducing alcohol consumption and to avoid taking sleeping pills
  • Alcohol can reduce the length or passage of the airway passing through the throat or nasal area. You need to thus avoid consuming alcoholic drinks. Try taking lemon cordial or a fresh dash of orange-juice as a substitute to consuming alcohol.

    Plus you need to avoid taking sleeping pills. Practicing deep meditation techniques helps the brain fall asleep, without taking the extra effort.

    • Sleeping positions

    You need to modify or align your sleeping positions, in order to breathe in a better way. You can learn good postures from a yoga therapist to help you sleep the right way. You can use soft pillows so that you do not put an additional pressure on your neck muscles.

    • Kick the butt

    Avoid smoking. Smoking can cause a swelling near your upper airway and increase your snoring as well as apnea. You can completely stop smoking, and this is for your own good.

  • Avoid sleeping on your back
  • You can slightly turn to your left or right while sleeping. Sleeping on your back for a continuous point of time reduces the flow of oxygen to your body. You need to thus avoid sleeping on your back, for a long time.

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