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Overview

Sleep Apnea - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that happens when any person’s breathing and respiratory function is interrupted during sleep. People who are not aware of this illness and live with untreated sleep apnea, stop breathing for several times during their sleep, which sometimes runs to hundreds of times.

When this happens the brain and the rest of the sleep apnea patient’s body do not receive adequate oxygen during their sleep.

Sleep apnea can be classified into two types:

OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea): This is caused by blockage in the airway of the sleep apnea patient, and is more common of the two types. This symptom happens when the soft tissue at the back of the patient’s throat collapses during the sleep.

Central Sleep Apnea: This is a more serious kind of sleep apnea, where the airway is not blocked like in OSA, but the patient’s brain fails to signal the respiratory muscles to breath. This occurs because of instability in the respiratory control center of the patient suffering from this disease.

Sleep apnea can affect anyone, any person of any age, even children. But people who are more at a risk of this disease are:

  • People who are overweight
  • Being male
  • Being over the age of 40
  • Have a large neck size (16 inches or more in women and 17 inches or more for men)
  • Have a large tongue, large tonsils or a noticeably small jaw bone
  • People suffering from GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Nasal obstruction owing to allergies, deviated septum of the nose or sinus problems

Treatment and Diganosis :

Left untreated, this disease can cause a number of serious health problems, which include, stoke, high blood pressure, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, depression, fatigue, diabetes, headaches and even worsening of ADHD symptoms.In addition to this untreated sleep apnea can also bring in poor performance in day to day activities, like in school and office, car accidents, academic failure and underachievement, especially among children and adolescents.

If you have symptoms of this disease, the doctor may ask you to undergo a sleep apnea test, which is also known as polysomnogram. A polysomnogram is a study on sleeping activities. It is a multiple component test that transmits electronically records of sleeping patterns and correlate them with physical activities while you are asleep. These electronic records and data are then analyzed by ‘sleep specialists’ to find out whether you really have sleep apnea or if you are suffering from any other disorder.

Can't be cured, but treatment helps Require medical diagnosis Lab test always required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
Symptoms
Wake up with a very dry or sore throat. Loud snoring. Occasionally waking up with a gasping or choking feeling. Lack of energy or feeling sleepless throughout the day. Feeling sleepy while driving. Restless sleep accompanied by morning headaches. Decreased interest in sex along with forgetfulness, mood changes and insomnia.

Popular Health Tips

4 Most Common Sleep Disorders

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Fellow In Pain Management, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Gurgaon
4 Most Common Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorder is a serious problem which a large number of people are facing due to multiple reasons. Almost every other person complains of having some sort of sleep disorder, irrespective of his/her age. Sleep disorders may come across as something which can be overlooked, but this shouldn’t be the case, as when the problem aggravates it can take quite a scary turn. You need to be aware of the different kinds of sleep disorders which affect a vast number of people, on a daily basis. Given below are some of the most common ones which affect the majority of the crowd.

1. Insomnia
Insomnia, a worldwide epidemic, is the most common type of sleep disorder today. A number of factors can cause insomnia and affect even the healthiest being. From stress, anxiety or depression, substance and alcohol abuse to certain types of medication, a lot of factors can cause this issue. People who have insomnia have difficulty in sleeping and then maintaining that sleep. A cognitive behavioral therapy can help people suffering from this disorder. Often medications are also prescribed.

2. Sleep Apnea
If you have a partial or complete blockage of the throat then, you might be suffering from sleep apnea. This disorder is the second most prevailing sleep disorder in the world today. People who suffer from this disorder hardly realize it until someone informs them about having the trouble. Some of the common symptoms of Sleep apnea are morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, and excessively loud snoring as well. People suffering from apnea may also face trouble breathing multiple times per night. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine is a common treatment for this disorder.

3. RLS or Restless Leg Syndrome
The real reason behind RLS is still not known by experts, however, most believe the real cause of the disorder is hereditary. Some medications can also be a cause of restless leg syndrome. In this disorder, an urge to move your legs and hands precedes the need to sleep. RLS usually occurs when the patient is resting. In order to treat the restless leg syndrome, one must reduce the consumption of alcohol and caffeine along with doing regular exercises. For more severe cases, often medications are prescribed. RLS is observed more in women than in men.

4. Narcolepsy
People with narcolepsy often complain about falling asleep during odd times and feeling weak quite often. An abnormality in the brain is usually the reason behind this sleep disorder. Patients of narcolepsy often develop cataplexy which is a condition where patients feel faintish as an emotional reaction to any situation. People suffering from narcolepsy are given medications as a treatment.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2839 people found this helpful

Sleep Apnea - How It Can Increase The Risk Of Heart Disease?

MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Noida
Sleep Apnea - How It Can Increase The Risk Of Heart Disease?

Getting a good night’s sleep is needed not only to remove dark circles but to improve your overall health as well. Ideally, adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. This helps you stay physically and mentally healthy. However, getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done, as sleep apnea is one of the factors that could affect the quality of your sleep. This can cause a number of health issues including heart disease.

What is sleep apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that can make your breathing start and stop repeatedly while you are asleep. These pauses can range from 5 times an hour to 30 times in one hour. Waking up tired after a long sleep and snoring are characteristic symptoms of this condition. This can be annoying for others, but for you, it could be life-threatening. When your breathing stops; your airways get blocked.

This is characteristic of obstructive sleep apnea, as every time this happens, you wake up. This can increase the risk of high blood pressure. High blood pressure, in turn, can cause arrhythmia, heart failure, and strokes. This can increase the risk of a fatal heart attack by up to 5 times.

Heart disease and central sleep apnea have a cyclic relationship. In this case, heart disease causes the person to retain water and salts. At night, this excess fluid can enter the lungs making the person wake up feeling short of breath. This is not necessarily because the airways get blocked but because the brain does not send the diaphragm a signal to expand and contract. This is not as common as obstructive sleep apnea.

Reducing your risk of heart disease caused by sleep apnea
There are ways to treat sleep apnea so as to reduce the chances of heart diseases. To treat it, it must first be diagnosed. Thus, if your roommate notices you snoring, consult a doctor immediately. For a diagnosis, you will need to undergo a sleep study. This involves staying overnight in the hospital where they will monitor your sleep. Treatment for sleep apnea is known as continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP.

This form of treatment involves wearing a mask that regulates the air pressure as you breathe thus ensuring that the air passages do not close down. In case of obstructive sleep apnea, losing weight if you are obese, can also help treat the condition and keep the airways open.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3014 people found this helpful

Sleepwalking - 11 Things You Must Know!

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Ahmedabad
Sleepwalking - 11 Things You Must Know!

Sleep is one such time when people usually are expected to lie down still and get rest. However, we have all heard of sleepwalking, a condition where a person walks during the sleep. Though it may sound strange, there is a deeper explanation for it both from a causative point of view and from managing it.

Things you should know?

  1. Sleepwalking happens when a person moves back from a deep sleep to a light sleep or awakening state.
  2. The person who is sleepwalking is usually not aware of it.
  3. Activities may range from simply getting up and sitting up in bed to walking around the room. They could also open the door and walk out to the neighbourhood. Moving furniture, changing dresses or driving a car, may also be some of the actions Most of these activities happens completely without their knowledge.
  4. Mostly happens in children up to the age of 12, but can be seen in adults also, where it assumes a more severe form.
  5. The person who is sleepwalking has a fixed stare with glassy eyes. They may appear dazed and lost when they are awakened.
  6. They may not respond when they are actually sleepwalking, or respond very slowly
  7. They can be brought back to bed and put back to sleep without being disturbed. Most children would go back to sleeping when this is done
  8. Though the parents can be very worried when they see children sleepwalking, reassurance is required, as it usually disappears as they cross teenage.
  9. There could be chances of small injury like tripping or fall during the sleepwalking episode
  10. Sleepwalkers may be more restless compared to other children during their waking hours
  11. Bedwetting is also quite common in children who sleepwalk

Causes

  1. Inappropriate sleep pattern with lack of sleep for prolonged periods is one of the main reasons for sleepwalking
  2. Stress
  3. Excessive drinking
  4. Medical conditions like heart rhythm problems, acidity, gastric reflux, and seizures
  5. Psychiatric conditions like panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder can also lead to sleepwalking

Management

  1. For a parent to see their child walking around in their sleep can be quite disturbing.
  2. Reassurance is required stating that it is just a temporary phase and will not stay beyond the teenage years
  3. Most people do not require any intervention unless accompanied by severe symptoms like going out of the house or driving
  4. Once established, it is advisable to avoid by not drinking too much alcohol, avoiding stress and anxiety and taking precautions like extra-secure locks to prevent sleepwalking and/or other side effects. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
2545 people found this helpful

Causes and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

MS - ENT, MBBS
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Causes and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which you experience frequent breathing pauses while sleeping. In case of some, the pauses may last for just a few seconds, while for others, it may continue for a few minutes. Sleep apnea is generally chronic in nature. There are three types of sleep apnea, namely Central, Obstructive and Complex sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs if the brain fails to transmit signals to the muscles responsible for your breathing functions. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs due to relaxation of your throat muscles. Complex sleep apnea refers to a combined condition of both central and obstructive sleep apnea.

Some of the possible causes of sleep apnea are as follows: 

  1. Blockage of airway during sleep can cause sleep apnea
  2. Putting on weight can cause obstructive sleep apnea
  3. In some cases, large tonsil tissues can lead to obstructive sleep apnea in small children
  4. Intake of certain medicines like Oxycontin or MS Contin can cause central sleep apnea
  5. Male people are more prone to sleep apnea
  6. Smoking is also a potent trigger for sleep apnea
  7. At times, high blood pressure can induce sleep apnea
  8. Suffering from sinus can also lead to sleep apnea
  9. Large neck size (more than 16 inches) may cause sleep apnea

In case of some people, sleep apnea might be an inherited condition.

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are mentioned below:

  • Sometimes, obstructive sleep apnea is accompanied by choking or snorting sounds.
  • You may encounter breathing trouble while sleeping, leading to a disruption of your sleep.
  • Maximum times, sleep apnea is accompanied by snoring.
  • Sleep apnea leads to a dry mouth, which can disturb your sleep.
  • You may feel dizzy during daytime. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent specialist.
4293 people found this helpful

Feeling Tired Even After a Lot of Sleep - Did You Know Why?

MBBS, M.MED, DFM, FID, CCEBDM, ACMDC, CCMTD
Diabetologist, Hyderabad
Feeling Tired Even After a Lot of Sleep - Did You Know Why?

One of the most common scenarios that most people are faced with is a constant feeling of tiredness and lethargy even after you have had a full night’s sleep. The questions popping in your mind right about now is, why is this happening? Why does the lethargic feeling fail to leave you even after you had a proper 8 hours sleep? Why is your sleep getting into the way of your professional productivity? Though there are a number of different explanations to this constant feeling of cloudiness throughout the day, hence, experts in the field have listed down some of the factors that prove to be the major causes behind this condition.

Some of these most common and powerful reasons are listed below.

  1. Thyroid: The moment your thyroid levels start soaring, you will automatically find it difficult to keep up with the pace that your day to day life demands. The thyroid gland, which is placed right in front of the throat, is the size of the knot on your tie. This gland produces a hormone. When the activity of the thyroid gland, it starts secreting more and more of the hormones, leading to a condition termed as hyperthyroidism. The same gland when underperforms, it starts holding back the hormone secretion, leading to a condition called hypothyroidism. In both the cases the metabolism of the body slows down, leading to an increased level of tiredness even after proper sleep.
  2. Anaemia: Another leading cause of that nagging feeling of sleepiness and draining energy is Anaemia. Anaemia causes a certain amount of fatigue in an individual. The main cause influencing this situation is the lack of presence of enough red blood cells. The main function of these red blood cells is to transfer oxygen constantly from the long to the cells and tissues. A break in this process leads to you feeling weak and also short of breath.
  3. Diabetes: Diabetes poses a serious threat to the all over functioning of your body. It is termed as the slow killer and constantly works towards undermining the level of energy a normal individual can hold. This adversely affects your day to day life, including your performance at work and also performing your daily chores at home. The glucose in your body serves as a fuel for your daily activities. Since patients with type 2 diabetes cannot use this rising glucose in their blood properly, they end up being more tired than they ought to be.

Other conditions that lead to the same draining feeling and constant tiredness even after lot of sleep are depression, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, sleep apnea, sleep inertia, periodic limb movement disorder, constant exposure to computer screens, tv screen, monitors, etc. There are a whole bag of other factors that lead to the constant feeling of tiredness that you are feeling. Before the end of the day, you are drained, your productivity drops and you cannot wait to hit the bed, and the same is the condition when you get out of bed. Consulting a general physician will not only help you put a finger on the cause, but also cure it with proper treatment.

2743 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am having vertigo all day and sleep apnea from last five years. I had done my dns 4 year back but I have still the same problem with the. Breathing specially at. Night.

DNB(Respiratory Diseases), MBBS
Pulmonologist, Jabalpur
Sleep apneas needs treatment with overnight PAP therapy, I hope you have been using it, because with it the problem of breathing should get better. Vertigo needs evaluation for the cause.

What test differentiates the central and obstructive sleep apnea and what parameter of the test is used to find out the difference?

Fellowship In Rhinology, MS (ENT), DNB (ENT)
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Hello, the test which can differentiate is called sleep study or polysomnography. This can be done both At home or at an hospital. The Hospital one has more parameters and is better but many patients have difficulty in sleeping at a hospital. The one done at home has less parameter but easily done.

I have a obstructive sleep apnea problem and have been using CPAP machine for last 3 years. How can I sleep without CPAP machine and what should I do for the same? I tried to sleep without CPAP machine but I awake frequently at night and feeling sleepy all day.

DNB(Respiratory Diseases), MBBS
Pulmonologist, Jabalpur
The best treatment available to manage obstructive sleep apnea (osa) is cpap. You are using it for 3 years now, itself is an indication that you feel benefit by using it, so why do you want to leave it and try other therapies, which are usually not very effective for osa. Not taking treatment for osa for a long time can have detrimental effects on health. I suggest you keep using your cpap machine, and also get evaluated periodically with your sleep specialist for seeing the latest situation of your condition and pressure changes that may be required if any.
1 person found this helpful

I am overweight and feel stressed all the time. Have thyroid diabetes hypertension and stressed out and lethargic. I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Please suggest me something for sleep apnea.

MBBS, MD-Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Kolkata
You need to get examined and investigated thoroughly by sleep specialist as well as an ENT surgeon to guide you through your problems.

My age is 28, my problem is become sleep in afternoon, I want to controls my sleep in day time but not use, Sleep coming in duty time also, please suggest some medicines to control my sleep.

D S Homeopathic Medical College, Muhs
Homeopath, Thane
Do some yoga and meditation. If you are stressed please be calm. Try to avoid to sleep in daytime and sleep at night. Try reading a book listen to soft music. Avoid alcohol smoking. Do not drink lot ofcoffee or tea 1 cup a day is a limit. Eat a balanced diet consisting of green leafy vegetables chapati rice dal curds and salads. Avoid junk foods. Take SBLS Passiflora mother tincture 5 drops with half glass of water in late evening [2 hours before sleep]for 7 days. For any queries and consultation CONSULT ONLINE IN PRIVATE.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can be classified into two types:

Treatment and Diganosis :

Play video
Pulmonary Disorder: Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Good afternoon friends,

I am Dr Hemant Kalra, I am a pulmonologist.

Today I will talk about a very-very important topic that is Obstructive Sleep Apnea which is widely prevalent in our country but very-very underdiagnose and awareness is very-very less. So what is obstructive sleep apnea, those patients who snore very-very heavily, who feel tired or feel sleepy during the daytime they may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea. So what is normal breathing, normal breathing is when our upper airways they allow free air to go inside the lungs and out of the lungs, this is normal breathing. So what are the obstructive airways, obstructive airways is then these upper airways collapse and this collapse of upper airways causes snoring and sensation in breathing, this is abnormal breathing or obstructive breathing at night time when we sleep? So what are the symptoms, symptoms can be nighttime symptoms can be there or daytime symptoms can be there. Night time symptoms are frequent visits to bathroom, weakness, sensation in breathing, choking or gasping for air or loud a persistent snoring or restless sleep, these 5 can be there in the night time symptoms and daytime symptoms are early morning headache, lethargy, and poor concentration, poor memory, feeling asleep during and routine activities and daytime somnolence or daytime sleepiness, these are daytime symptoms. So what kinds of patients are prone to have obstructive sleep apnea. Those patients who are obese with a short and thick neck with large tongue or hypothyroidism such patients if they snore heavily or feel tired or sleepy during the daytime or if they have night time or daytime and symptoms they must be investigated for obstructive sleep apnea. So how to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea, there is a very small test called polysomnography that can be done at a house or in hospitals. That is conducted in two parts, one is diagnostic, one is titration in diagnostic. We diagnose, whether a patient is having obstructive episodes in the night or not, or in another part, if an obstruction is there what is the pressure required to eliminate those obstructions in the night time. So obstructive diagnostic and titration component one night sleep steady is more than enough. Once we diagnose obstructive sleep apnea then we have to treat it also. There are so many treatments available but gold standard till now is CPAP therapy Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy is the most appropriate therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea and once you treated you will feel that next day if you get up you will feel very-very energetic and if you do not treat obstructive sleep apnea then you may have heart problems, rythm problems, your BP may not be controlled, your sugar may not be control, you may have strokes in future also. So, if you treat obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP therapy, it is a gold standard therapy in India it is widely available in our country but lack of awareness is there. It is a very important disorder you must be treated as early as possible.

Thank you.
Play video
Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea - Causes and treatment
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