Do I have sleep Apnea?
Snoring is commonly assumed to be an ordinary problem for most people while in the real sense, it might be a symptom to a much serious disease. Snoring simply means that there is an obstruction to the normal airflow which shouldn’t be the case.
It might also be an arrow pointing you towards seeking medical help incase there is an underlying illness. Snoring in this case is a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This is a sleep disorder which is caused by obstruction of air in the throat which causes vibrations leading to snoring and oxygen interruptions in the body.
Sleep apnea patients have been known to fall asleep at awkward hours in odd places even on the road while driving. Disrupted or the lack of sleep at night is the main contributor to this and it can happen several times in a night and for an extended period of time. The fact that one has no control over it makes sleep apnea a difficult condition to handle.
At times, it takes the intervention of a second and third party for instance a room mate to help the patient discover that they have a problem. At night, some attacks might go unnoticed which makes it difficult to identify the problem hence does not feel the need to seek medical help.
Diseases Related To Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea is known to cause or make worse certain existing health complications in a patient. The oxygen supply interruptions and sleep deprivation are the main culprits to this. It is therefore advisable that one seeks proper medical attention to help identify this sleep abnormality.
If indeed the patient suffers from this problem, a doctor will commence treatment immediately through sleep therapy at a sleep clinic. Treatment will help keep other existing health complications in check and at the same time cure the sleep apnea. There are some known health complications that made worse by or result from sleep apnea.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure requires it patients to be at peace and live stress free lives. These attempts are made impossible in the case of sleep apnea because the patient’s life is interrupted in a negative way.
The constant involuntary waking in the night might lead to the hormonal systems going overboard which in turn disturb the body hence high blood pressure. The oxygen supply cut off and constant interruptions will also lead to hypertension in sleep apnea patients.
However, it would be good to know that with the treatment of sleep apnea, a once high blood pressure patient stands a chance to cut back on their blood pressure medication. This eventually makes the condition more manageable.
Excess weigh is one of the leading factors towards to Obstructive sleep apnea. Losing this dead weight would be the perfect solution but with sleep apnea, this quest becomes almost impossible. Anyone carrying around excess weight stands at a higher chance of suffering from sleep apnea. The connection to these two diseases is that being overweight increases the level of fat in the body. Some body fat is deposited around the neck area which then blocks the airway hence the struggle to breathe.
The sleep apnea further proves weight loss attempts impossible by making the body release the ghrelin hormone which is responsible for making you crave sweets and carbohydrates. This comes about as a result of the sleep apnea impairing the body’s endocrine systems.
The weight loss attempts are further frustrated by the low metabolism that comes about as a result. This is because sleep apnea patients tend to be sleepless at night hence getting extremely tired and sleepy/drowsy during the day. Lack of activity reduces the body’s energy levels. The patient’s metabolism which is a big determining factor to weight loss is slowed down too. In this case, weight loss can be achieved if the efforts are paired with sleep apnea treatment which energizes you to exercise and participate in other physically engaging activities.
Type 2 Diabetes
It has been estimated that almost 80% of people suffering from the type 2 diabetes have or are subject able to sleep apnea. Although there is no clear connection between the two, the sleep deprivation brought about by sleep apnea is likely to the body’s resistance to insulin which directly causes diabetes. Additionally, both; sleep Apnea and type 2 diabetes patients have a high chance of being obese.
Sleep apnea patients are likely to die in their sleep because it increases their chances of their getting a stroke. This can be attributed to by the stress of involuntarily waking up several times in the night. The low oxygen levels are high contributors of this too as it makes it makes it hard for the brain to regulate the blood flow in arteries and the brain itself. This activity brings about stroke and fibrillation.
There also isn’t a clear connection of sleep apnea and acid reflux but most sleep apnea patients have been noted to complain of persistent heart burn and acid reflux as part of their symptoms. Treatment of sleep apnea in such patients is known to reduce these symptoms and even eliminating them completely.
There is no proven connection of asthma attacks in adults and sleep apnea but people who have undergone sleep apnea treatment have fewer asthma attacks hence a worthy point to note.
Sleep apnea patients are five times more likely to cause accidents than normal sleepers due to the common sleepy and fatigue symptom they commonly experience.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Although there is increased risk of developing health problems with sleep apnea, there is available treatment for it. It is advisable for you to talk to your doctor about treatment options and how to handle sleep apnea related illnesses while at it.
Sleep specialists for sleep apnea highly recommend a machine known as CPAP. Although this might take time getting used to, chances of feeling better and getting healthier are significantly increased. The CPAP treatment is given when the patient is under sleep therapy at the sleep center clinic.
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