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Overview

Sleep Apnea - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

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

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

Sleep Disorders - How Occupational Therapy Can Help In Treating It?

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (BOT), Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Occupational Therapist, Gurgaon
Sleep Disorders - How Occupational Therapy Can Help In Treating It?
Wrinkles and fine lines aren t the only changes that occur with age; your sleep cycle is affected as well. It is a common misconception that the amount of sleep you need declines with age. Sleep needs remain constant throughout our adult lives but with age, people often find it increasingly difficult to fall asleep and have trouble staying asleep. Not getting enough sleep can trigger other conditions and hence it is essential to have a good night s sleep. Occupational therapy is often used to treat sleep disorders faced by elderly people. With the help of bedding management, sleep hygiene and choosing the right nightclothes they reduce involuntary napping and help patients regulate their sleep wake cycle. They also train patients on how to use equipment such as a sleep apnea machine to facilitate better quality of sleep. Analysing the problem is the first step by occupational therapist use to developing sleep routines. Here are a few common sleep problems that are experienced by people as they age. Insomnia: Wanting to go to bed earlier at night and waking up early in the morning is a normal effect of aging. With age, you may also feel the need for an afternoon nap to supplement your sleep. There are many conditions that could trigger insomnia in the elderly. Primary amongst these are stress, poor sleeping conditions, lack of exercise, side effects of medications, menopause and pain or medical conditions. Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea can be defined as breathing that stops for a few seconds or minutes while asleep. Along with age, being overweight also puts people at a risk of suffering from sleep apnea. Restless leg syndrome: The need to continuously move your leg is known as restless leg syndrome. This is often accompanied by throbbing, itching, pain, cramping or burning in the legs that can be relieved by movement. These symptoms are more acute at night make falling asleep difficult. Periodic limb movement disorder: Many people move their limbs while asleep without realizing it. With age, this condition can worsen with movements lasting for anywhere between a few minutes to a few hours through the night making him wake up tired and irritable. Circadian rhythm sleep disorders: Circadian rhythm is the natural wake-sleep pattern followed by a person. With age, this pattern gets disturbed due to changes in hormone levels, activity levels and social activities. For many people this results in shorter sleep cycles and can cause sleep deficiency. REM behavior disorder: In very rare cases, people act out their dreams. Though this movement is uncontrolled, it differs from sleep walking as the person is most likely to remember the dream on waking up.

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

Dr. Manish Sahu 91% (103 ratings)
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.
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Snoring - 9 Ways To Help You Control It!

Dr. Prakhar Singh 91% (727 ratings)
MBBS, Basic Life Support (B.L.S), Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
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Snoring - 9 Ways To Help You Control It!
About a 45 percent of adults snore occasionally, and although most people tend to ignore it, snoring is a problem that must be dealt with consideration. There are many families where one spouse snores and keeps the other person from a good night s sleep. It has been reported that snoring can create severe disputes in marriage and one who snores must take steps to control snoring. Snoring is not simply a nuisance, but a major proportion of individuals who snore are affected with obstructive sleep apnea by which breathing is disrupted while a person is fast asleep. This condition increases the risk of heart diseases. Fortunately, there are ways to control a person's snoring. Weight loss: Having a large neck circumference and being overweight increases the risk of pushing the fat down at the throat resulting in snoring. With a suitable weight loss training, one can control the snoring to a considerable extent. Altering sleep positions: Sleeping on the sides help in forbidding the tongue from resting backwards and blocking the throat while sleeping. Some specially created pillows can help the individuals from rolling back during sleep. Limit alcohol intake: Drinking alcohol contributes to further relaxation of muscles in the airways and collapse the path which makes snoring even worse. Limiting consumption of alcohol and avoiding to drink it at least 4 to 5 hours before going to bed can reduce snoring to a significant extent. Stop smoking: Smoking invariably leads to nasal congestion as well as inflammation which in turn worsen snoring. If one is running out of reasons to avoid smoking, then this is one of the most convincing reasons to quit smoking and enjoy overall good health. Certain medications: There are some medicines, particularly sedatives and antihistamines are designed to have a relaxing effect and can, therefore, aggravate snoring. But it is advised to consult with the general physician before making any alterations in the medicine routine. Avoid opening the mouth: Those who are aware of snoring with the mouth open must avoid opening the mouth during sleep by using a specifically designed tape or adhesive for closing shut the mouth while sleeping. Using specialised device: The mandibular advancement device is specifically crafted for those who suffer from tongue-based snoring. This equipment helps in moving the jaw forward as well as prevent the tongue from blocking the backside of the throat while sleeping. Avoid nasal collapse: Those who suffer from nasal collapse must use some form of adhesive nasal dilator strip which has to be placed over the nose. This would aid in keeping the airways open as well as reduce snoring. Treat allergies: Inflammation, as well as nasal congestion triggered by allergies, is a common cause of snoring while sleeping. One must opt to do an allergy test to identify and reduce potential allergens in the area where the individual sleeps such as bedding type, pet hair, dust mites, wheat or dairy intolerance and lessen snoring. Thus, snoring can be controlled before it becomes a problem.
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Sleep Apnea - Treating It With Best Homeopathic Remedies!

MD-Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Pune
Sleep Apnea - Treating It With Best Homeopathic Remedies!
Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects nighttime breathing and is caused by either a malfunction in the brain that temporarily stops sending signals to the muscles that control breathing, or by an obstruction in the airway. In this, the breathing stops all of a sudden and that can last from a few seconds to few minutes. For the diagnostic purpose, one should get at least five episodes of sleep apnea within one hour of sleep. In some severe cases, it can occur up to 30 times an hour. Symptoms of Sleep Apnea- Feeling of excessively sleepy during a day Lack concentration and low memory status Depression Short temperament Irritability Hyperactive children Leg swelling Impotency in males Insomnia Frequent waking up for urination in night Tiresome feeling in morning Homeopathic Treatment of Sleep Apnea- Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using a holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat sleep apnoea but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved medicines are available for sleep apnoea treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensation and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Before taking these medications, it is important to visit the doctor who will take a detailed case history of your problem and prescribe the right dosage and combination of medication.
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Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Dr. Harmeet Singh Pasricha 91% (54 ratings)
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Play video
Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea - Causes and treatment
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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.Please suggest me something.

Dr. Brahma Prakash 90% (698 ratings)
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.

Other than nashya karma, is there any other type of treatment available in curing sleep apnea.

Dr. Danish Jamal 90% (46 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Yes there is. But we need to diagnose sleep apnoea. This requires full symptoms history and examination followed by a sleep study if the initial history, questionnaires are indicative. These include oral /nasal devices and positive pressure devices. Nasal /oral medicines. Please take a consult.

I have sleep apnea with AHl=25. In spite of all my heart related parameters being normal I observe that my heart rate is always above 90 bpm even when I am completely relaxed. Is there a relation between sleep apnea and heart rate?

Dr. Jayvirsinh Chauhan 97% (8879 ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
Upto 100 it is considered normal... You should take good diet. Regular exercise...etc..to stay healthy..
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I am in Class XII and have barely any time to sleep. Can I take modalert 100 on my exam days to improve alertness or do I have to take it continuously.

Dr. Jatin Soni 94% (32968 ratings)
MBBS
General Physician, Mumbai
It’s better to avoid modalert medication on the day of exams and remember you should sleep for a minimum of six hours a day especially during exam

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Reading off electronic devices before sleep is good for your health. True or false? Take this quiz to find out.
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Trouble Sleeping - Can Herbs Help You Sleep Better?

Dr. Riju Lohan 91% (35 ratings)
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Hormonal imbalance can be a cause of sleep deprivation. True or false. Take this quiz to know more.
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