Sleep Apnea Index | Apnea Hypopnea Scale

Sleep Apnea Index

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder not only for those people who suffer from it, but also those who live in close range.

This is because it can be characterised by very loud snoring and associated snorts which eventually cause anger and distress to those people who can't sleep themselves because of the noise being made by the unfortunate snorer.

So What Exactly Sleep Apnea Or OSA

Sleep apnea is a distressing condition that many people suffer from though they may well be unaware of the fact. Basically the person goes to sleep, but the muscles in the upper part of the airway become very flabby and start to fall in on themselves.

The person then cannot breathe appropriately and can in fact stop breathing for a number of seconds before his brain kicks him into action by reminding him that he had better wake up or else.

The person wakes up regularly with a loud snore or snort which can be distressing for both him and his partner or even those who are within hearing range.

As this may happen quite a number of times during the night, the sufferer tends not to have a completed sleep pattern. This means he is drowsy and tired the next day, and a vicious cycle is set into motion.

The Sleep apnea symptoms can range from being minor to quite relentless. If it is felt the problem should be controlled, there is an index which can be used to determine the severity of the problem. This is called the Apnea/hypopnea index and it is used to decide the severity of the problem.

Hypopnea is the reduction of airflow which is passing through the airways, and the index calculates the number of apnea attacks with the number of hypopneas per hour of sleep. A scale is then used to determine the severity of the problem.

The Apnea hypopnea scale

An AHI of fewer than 10 suggests the problems being shown by the person who is snoring and snorting is not liable to have any clinical underlying problems. This is a good thing, because the person (or his family) can then start to think of other methods to stop the terrible din.

If the AHI is above 10, it is indicative of underlying problems, and it is suggested these are investigated further. These further investigations can comprise a specialist sleep study where the sufferer has to spend a night in hospital whilst special equipment is used to monitor the quality and type of sleep the person is getting.

If it is found that he is being deprived of oxygen, it poses problems of Adult sudden death syndrome and also cardiac and stroke problems.

Sleep apnea is no fun either for the people who suffer from it or their families who have to listen to the noise they make whilst asleep. One way of combating sleep apnea is for the person who is suffering from the problem to wear an oxygen mask whilst asleep which will assist him with breathing.

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