Sleep apnea- Causes, Symptoms and Effects

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can cause a number of ailments such as hypertension, stroke, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, diabetes and requires immediate treatment. It can lead to poor output in your daily activities such as academic underachievement in children and adolescents, etc., if left untreated. 

Also Read: Tips to improve sleep quality

We have discussed some symptoms, long term effects and causes of this sleep apnea.

-Repeated stops in the breathing pattern during sleep is basically characterized as sleep apnea. It mostly affects middle-aged men, but is generally harmful for everyone. This serious condition is of two types:

Central sleep apnea: This happens due to faulty brain signals while regulating breathing.

Obstructive sleep apnea: When there is a blockage in the air passage between the nose and lungs, OSA tends to occur.

-Its general main causes are excess weight, bulky tongue, nasal obstruction and 

the lax soft tissue in the pharynx. Inside human body, the air flows from the nose to the pharynx, through the voice box to the windpipe and finally reaches the lungs, when we breathe. Obstruction at throat or at any of these levels may cause sleep apnea.

-Sleep apnea in adults is often suspected when the spouse of the patient complains of inability to sleep due to the partner’s snoring. Symptoms in adults include frequent awakening at night due to interrupted sleep, fatigue and feeling sleepy during the day, mental fatigue, confusion, irritability forgetfulness and chronic cough.

-Sleep apnea can lead to other fatal diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart attack and cancer. It is caused due to increased inflammation at cellular level that happens because of chronic lack of oxygen. Sleep apnea can be avoided, even reversed if it gets diagnosed and treated at an early stage, otherwise is a dangerous disease that slowly affects all systems of the body.

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