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Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Treatment, Procedure, Cost And Side Effects

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a situation in which breathing process in the human body stops grudgingly for prolonged period during sleep. the particular period when breathing stops is, in medical terms, know as apnea or apneic episodes. During the process of OSA, the normal flow of air is frequently halted throughout the sleep. The main cause of halted flow of air is, the airway space in the throat is too narrow. Obstructive Sleep Apnea subsequently causes snoring when the airflow being obstructively passing through the narrowed airway space.

Are there any diagnosis for obstructive sleep apnea?

In order to track how many times your breathing was impaired during sleep, the physician will ask about your sleep. You may also require to undergo a sleep study done at your house or at sleep lab. And, the following things will be monitored:

  1. Eye movements
  2. Air flow
  3. Blood oxygen levels
  4. Breathing patterns
  5. Electrical activity of the brain
  6. Heart rate
  7. Muscle activity

What are the causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more likely to affect the people in their old age and people who are overweight. Various researches have shown that weight loss causes significant improvement in Sleep Apnea symptoms. Sleeping on the backside can provoke the chances of sleep apnea to happen.

Weight and obesity, associated with soft tissue of the mouth and throat, is the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in adults. The soft tissue can cause the airway to become blocked during sleep, when throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed. But many other factors also are associated with the condition in adults.

In children, enlarged tonsils or adenoids and dental conditions such as a large overbite are considered to be some of the main causes of obstructive sleep apnea. A tumor or growth in the airway, and birth defects such as Down syndrome and Pierre-Robin syndrome are also stretches the list as less common cause. Syndrome causes enlargement of the tongue, adenoids and tonsils and there is decreased muscle tone in the upper airway. Although childhood obesity may cause obstructive sleep apnea, it's much less commonly associated with the condition than adult obesity.

If left untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to serious complications, including cardiovascular disease, accidents, and premature death, regardless of age. So appropriate medical evaluation is important that anyone with signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea -- especially loud snoring and repeated nighttime awakenings followed by excessive daytime sleepiness.

What are the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea may result in the decreased oxygen supply to the brain and other body parts. In addition, poor sleep quality causes daytime drowsiness and lack of clarity in the morning. People suffering with sleep apnea may experience such symptoms:

  1. Loud snoring
  2. Gasping for air during sleep
  3. Awakening with a dry mouth
  4. Morning headache
  5. Difficulty staying asleep
  6. Excessive daytime sleepiness
  7. Irritability
  8. Headaches
  9. Feeling disgruntled
  10. Forgetfulness
  11. Drowsiness
  12. Worsening depression
  13. Loss of interest in sex

What are the treatments of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Here are some of the most commonly used treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

  1. Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills
  2. Sleeping on your side, if you only get mild sleep apnea when you sleep on your back.
  3. Weight loss, if needed
  4. Nasal sprays, if nasal congestion make it inconvenient to breathe while you sleep.
  5. CPAP machine. It includes a mask that a person wears over the nose or mouth, or both. An air blower forces uninterrupted air through the nose or mouth.

Who Is at Risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea increases if you have conditions or features that narrow the upper airway. Risk factors of Obstructive Sleep Apnea include:

  1. Children with large tonsils and adenoids
  2. Men with a collar size of 17 inches or more
  3. Women with a collar size of 16 inches or more
  4. Large tongue, which can block the airway.

Popular Health Tips

Sleep Apnea - 7 Ways it Can Be Treated!

ENT Specialist, Delhi
Sleep Apnea - 7 Ways it Can Be Treated!

Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder in which you stop and start breathing frequently while you are sleeping. Symptoms of sleep apnea often include loud snoring and fatigue even if you sleep uninterrupted through the night. Obesity and age are the common risk factors of sleep apnea.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the throat muscles contract and relax while you are asleep. The other type of sleep apnea, called central sleep apnea, usually occurs in people who have been diagnosed with brain tumors, infections or heart failure, or have had a stroke.

Treatment of sleep apnea includes:

  1. CPAP: The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device is generally recommended in the treatment of sleep apnea. CPAP is a breathing machine that stops your airways from getting blocked when you are sleeping. The CPAP device is normally the size of a tissue box. It comes with a mask that you put over your mouth and nose. The machine attached to the mask pumps a continuous flow of air that keeps your airways clear as you sleep.
  2. BPAP: The Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP) device is used as an alternative to the CPAP device, if you find it hard to adjust to the CPAP. If you have a weak pattern of breathing, the BPAP can be helpful.
  3. ASV: The Adaptive Servo-ventilation (ASV) device is used to treat both central and obstructive sleep apnea.
  4. Treatment for other medical conditions: Sometimes sleep apnea can be caused by underlying health conditions. Problems such as rhinitis (nasal passage inflammation) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) can cause sleep apnea. In such cases, your doctor needs to diagnose these conditions first before treating your sleep apnea.
  5. Lifestyle changes: Excessive weight sometimes can cause sleep apnea; so losing excessive weight should be a priority. Also, alcohol and tobacco can contribute to your symptoms, so try avoiding those.
  6. Medication: Usually, doctors do not prescribe any medicine, since sedatives and sleeping pills actually worsen sleep apnea. But, in case of sleep apnea in children, doctors typically suggest intra nasal corticosteroid medicine to treat the symptoms.
  7. SurgerySurgeries to increase the size of your airway or to remove your adenoids, tonsils or extra tissues in the rear of your throat or your nose can prove helpful. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
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Popular Questions & Answers

I have been suffering from sever sleep apnea and using cpap. Is there any treatment to avoid cpap. Another my problem is high triglycerides in between 400 to 800 as per my food intake it is all of our family history.

MD - Medicine, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Pune
1.OSA is not a good thing to have 2. Get PFT and ECG also 3. CPAP or BIPAP are important treatment options 4. Reduce your weight, bring BMI down to 20.
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Table of Content

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Are there any diagnosis for obstructive sleep apnea?

What are the causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

What are the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

What are the treatments of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Who Is at Risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

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