Sleep apnea is a potentially common sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly interrupts (starts and stops) while sleeping. The termination of breathing may last from a few seconds to minutes. Typically; normal breathing starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Due to interrupted and poor quality of sleep, you feel lethargic and sleepy throughout the day. It is one of the most common causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.
There are mainly three types of sleep apnea, they are:
1. Obstructive sleep apnea- The more common form of apnea that occurs when your throat gets blocked partly or completely.
2. Central sleep apnea- In this form of apnea brain stops sending signals to the muscles that control breathing.
3. Complex sleep apnea syndrome- It is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
The most common signs and symptoms include:
1. Loud snoring
2. Frequently breathing termination
3. Sudden and abrupt awakenings followed by shortness of breath
4. Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
5. Morning headache
7. Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
8. Attention problems
11. Weight gain
13. Mood swings
14. Loud breathing
Sleep apnea can affect anyone, even children. But certain factors increase your risk of sleep apnea:
1. Excess weight or Obesity
2. Narrowed airway
3. Being male
4. Being older
5. Family history
6. Use of alcohol
8. Nasal congestion
9. Heart disorders
10. Using narcotic pain medications
Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition and should be treated soon. Complications may include:
1. Daytime fatigue
2. Difficulty in concentrating
3. Mood swing
5. High blood pressure or heart problems
6. Recurrent heart attack
7. Abnormal heartbeats
9. Type 2 diabetes
10. Abnormal cholesterol
11. High blood sugar and an increased waist circumference.
12. Complications with medications and surgery
13. Liver problems
Lifestyle and home remedies-
1. Lose excess weight
3. Avoid alcohol
4. Avoid certain medications such as sleeping pills
5. Sleep on your side or abdomen rather than on your back
6. Keep your nasal passages open at night
7. Stop smoking, if you're a smoker
8. When to see a doctor
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