Is Sleep Apnea common?
Sleep apnea is extremely common in men and people who are over 40 years old or more but it also occurs in women and young age groups.
When Sleep Apnea should be suspected?
The main symptom of sleep apnea is snoring which is associated with long pauses in your breathing during sleep.
For many patients, their bed partners or family members indicate that you periodically stop breathing during your sleep. Even if you don’t remember waking up during night, you may notice excessive daytime sleepiness.
The patient frequently does not know he or she has a problem and may not believe it when told. You can diagnose sleep apnea. He may ask you to go to a sleep center for sleep study.
Can snoring indicate the presence of obstructive sleep apnea?
Not all people who snore have sleep apnea. If you have snoring without obstruction in breathing, then it is not related to sleep apnea. If your snoring is accompanied with obstruction of breathing for ten seconds or more for hundreds of times at night, then it is related to sleep apnea.
The interruption of breathing pattern leads to the oxygen blood levels reduction and in turn raises the work on the heart to provide oxygen to the body.
If a person loses weight, will sleep apnea go away?
Loss of weight does not prevent sleep apnea, but it reduces the severity of the condition. Overweight or obesity is the main factor of obstructive sleep apnea. If a person is obese, the accumulation of fat at the upper airway makes the airway narrow and close.
When to seek medical advice?
Consult a medical expert if you experience, or if your partner notices the following symptoms such as shortness of breath that awakens your sleep, snoring loud enough to disturb the sleep of others or long pauses in your breathing during sleep. Talk to your doctor if you experience the above symptoms
What are the risk factors for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea may occur for male or female, or old or young. Even children will affect with the disease. Certain factors increase the risk to get sleep apnea.
Risk factors for Obstructive sleep apnea:
- A narrowed airway can increase the risk. Your tonsils or adenoids may become enlarged, which can block your airway.
- If any one of your family member is having sleep apnea, you may be at risk.
- Everyone with excess weight does not have sleep apnea. But Fat deposits around your upper airway may obstruct your breathing.
- Alcohol, tranquilizers or sedatives relax the muscles in your throat thereby increase the risk of sleep apnea.
- When neck circumference is greater, it indicates the risk of sleep apnea because a thick neck may narrow the airway.
- Men are twice as likely to have as women are. However, women increase their risk if they're overweight, and the risk appears to rise after menopause.
- Smoking may increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway increasing the risk. This risk will be reduced after smoking is stopped.
Risk factors for Central sleep apnea
- Smoking or brain tumor can damage the brain’s ability to regulate breathing.
- Neuromuscular disorders can affect the central nervous system breathing functions.
- Sleeping at higher altitudes may increase your risk of sleep apnea.