Though each person may in fact start suffering from sleep apnea regardless of age and gender, there are still some risk factors for the development of this disorder:
- Being a man
- Having excessive body weight or obesity
- Being in 40s and older
- Having a thick neck
- Having a narrow airway
- Having family members who suffer from sleep apnea
- Suffering from nasal obstruction that develops as a result of sinus issues, allergic reactions, and deviated septum
Effects on Health
Sleep apnea always negatively affects the human health. The list of the most common issues it may cause is as follows:
- Daytime Fatigue: Since sleep apnea substantially worsens the quality of night sleep, daytime is frequently accompanied with snooze, exhaustion, irritability, tiredness, and lack of energy.
- Metabolic Syndrome: This medical condition is characterized with too high cholesterol levels, inadequate blood sugar levels, abnormal waist size, and fat gain. This syndrome requires the use of top-notch diet pills and timely medical aid.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Due to sleep apnea, the probability of insulin resistance development considerably grows. As a result, type 2 diabetes may occur.
- High Blood Pressure: Sleep apnea provokes drastic reduction of blood oxygen levels. This makes blood pressure upsurge and overloads circulatory system.
- Heart Disease: Constant oxygen deprivation during sleep apnea may lead to heart beat irregularity, heart attack, and heart failure
- Complications During Pharmaceutical Therapies and Surgeries: When a person is suffering from sleep apnea, this may become a serious impediment to the intake of some medications and the administration of anesthesia. This may be fraught with the life-threatening breathing issued during and after a surgical procedure.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are two major types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This type of sleep apnea happens most frequently. It is actually the result of relaxation of certain muscles located in the back of throat. Due to this relaxation, the airway blockage occurs, and a person virtually stops breathing for several seconds.
- Central Sleep Apnea: It is a less widespread type of sleep apnea. It implies the inability of brain to deliver signals to the breathing muscles and make them perform their functions. And a person loses its ability to breathe for a while.
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
The healthcare provider can set a diagnosis of sleep apnea by studying your symptoms and using a range of the following diagnostic methods.
For the correct diagnosis of sleep apnea, the physician should get to know the nuances of your medical history such as:
- Information about all sleep apnea manifestations like daytime fatigue, headache, troubled sleeping, etc. which you may feel
- Family history of suffering from sleep medical conditions including sleep apnea
- Existence of risk factors for the development of sleep apnea
- Availability of complications of non-diagnosed or non-treated sleep apnea like type 2 diabetes, fibrillation, and cardiology issues including uncontrolled blood pressure increase
- Intake of some medications like opioids which can negatively influence sleep pattern and provoke the symptoms which mimic sleep apnea
The physical examination is required in order the healthcare provider could estimate whether you experience the manifestations of other diseases which may raise the probability of sleep apnea including large tonsils, narrowed upper airway, large neck circumference, overweight, and obesity that can be treated with doctor-approved natural fat burners.
Thus, a male neck circumference exceeding 17 inches and a female neck circumference exceeding 16 inches are regarded as circumference that goes beyond the normal range.
The healthcare provider will also appraise your:
- Jaw structure and size
- Tongue structure and size
- Tongue’s location in the mouth
- Neurological function
The investigation of your sleep pattern is the foundation for diagnosing any sleep condition including sleep apnea. That’s why you will be most likely sent to a sleep specialist who will study how you sleep. A sleep research in a special sleep center implies:
- Identification of frequency of apnea episodes per night to determine how many times per night you can’t breathe normally
- Identification of how active the muscles involved in breathing regulation remain active during sleep
- Measurement of blood oxygenation when you are sleeping
- Appraisal of heart and brain system functioning when you are sleeping
Also, the healthcare provider can find out the severity of sleep apnea by taking into account the number of sleep apnea episodes per hour during the night sleep. According to this, it’s possible to distinguish:
- Mild sleep apnea: 5 to 14 apnea episodes per hour
- Moderate sleep apnea: 15 to 29 apnea episodes per hour
- Severe sleep apnea: 30 and more apnea episodes per hour
The general practitioner can recommend you to do some tests to exclude certain diseases able to provoke sleep apnea:
- Blood tests: Such tests measure hormone levels to exclude the diseases such as hypothyroidism, acromegaly, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Pelvic ultrasound: It is used to check how ovaries function and whether there are cysts. This helps exclude polycystic ovary syndrome.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
There are different factors which provoke the blockage and collapse of the breathing passages regardless of whether a person uses any over-the-counter HGH supplements or other top-notch natural remedies. They can be classified into three major groups:
- Musculoskeletal changes: During sleep, the relaxation of muscles located in the breathing passages and responsible for the airway openness occurs. The tongue also relaxes. This contributes to the narrowing of breathing passages. In healthy people, this doesn’t lead to breathing impediment. But sleep apnea sufferers may experience the new episodes of sleep apnea when this happens.
- Physical obstructions: The breathing passages may be surrounded with massive fat deposits and overgrown tissues. This is what can block the air circulation through the airways. When the air tries to go through the airways, loud snoring may appear. And this snoring usually refers to obstructive sleep apnea.
- Brain function: Central sleep apnea develops when brain fails to properly manage breathing function. In this case, the neurological controls can’t perform their tasks normally. The brain function responsible for breathing may suffer and turn into central sleep apnea due to the availability of underlying diseases like heart failure and stroke, intake of pain-killing drugs, or high-altitude illness.
Whatever the cause of a condition is and whatever testosterone boosters you take, sleep apnea finally contributes to the total blockage of breathing passages. When this happens, snoring ceases along with breathing. Breathing is absent for 10-20 seconds and then restores again after the brain messages the muscles in order they could toughen.
Is It Snoring or Sleep Apnea?
Not each snorer is diagnosed with sleep apnea as well as not each sleep apnea sufferer snores. It’s quite difficult to differentiate the ordinary snoring from snoring associated with sleep apnea.
The major indicator of snoring nature is a person’s wellbeing throughout the day. The ordinary snoring can’t worsen the sleep quality to the extent sleep apnea can. It means that the normal snoring doesn’t cause enormous tiredness and excessive drowsiness comparing to sleep apnea induced snoring.
To find out whether you have normal snoring or sleep apnea, snoring recording is recommended. A person’s sleep partner can also help snorer to understand the nature of snoring by monitoring the frequency, loudness, and other snoring characteristics. Different snoring sounds like choking, gasping, etc. may tell a lot about the cause of snoring.
Snoring may be not related to sleep apnea. But it may anyway pose a threat to a snoring sufferer’s health as well as can substantially worsen the quality of a sleep partner’s sleep, especially if a partner has a depression.
Regardless of whether snoring is linked to sleep apnea or caused with other condition, it requires proper treatment.
Sleep Apnea in Children
Children may quite frequently suffer from obstructive sleep apnea which is though complicated for the identification. Children with sleep apnea not only have consistent loud snoring, but also:
- Cease breathing for a while during gasping, snorting, and sleeping
- Have unnatural positions while sleeping
- Experience night incontinence of urine, excessive night sweating, or sleep terrors
- Demonstrate consistent excessive daytime sleepiness
- Show behavioral issues or grades worsening
If you think your child has sleep apnea, you have to schedule a pediatrician’s appointment without delays to figure out whether there is really a reason to worry about. Sleep apnea in a child has to be obligatorily treated. Otherwise, it will cause much trouble in overall health, mood, growth, and cognitive abilities of your child.
The children typically suffer from obstructive sleep apnea because they have the enlargement of adenoids and tonsils. The removal of adenoids and tonsils performed by means of non-complicated procedure called adenotonsillectomy is the best treatment methods in this situation. Overweight may also be a cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children. Healthy body weight management is very helpful in this case.
Sleep Apnea Complications
People who suffer from sleep apnea face a higher probability of various sleep apnea complications.
They are as follows:
- Asthma: It is a lung disease which implies shortness of breath occurring from time to time. It is accompanied with the narrowing and swelling of airways.
- Ciliary arrhythmia: This condition is associated with rapid and irregular heartrate which is very abnormal for the healthy blood flow to the heart. When left unaddressed, it may cause heart failure or stroke.
- Cancers: Particularly, sleep apnea may contribute to the development of some types of cancer like skin cancer, renal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
- Chronic kidney disease: The kidneys become permanently impaired and cease performing their body-detoxifying function properly. This condition is considered chronic since it develops gradually within a long timeframe and sometimes can’t be reversed anymore.
- Cognitive and behavioral conditions: These conditions include sustained attention, inability to hold attention, loss of concentration, impairment of motor skills, and memory problems. The accelerated development of dementia in elderly people is also possible. Also, sleep apnea leads to leaning difficulties in children.
- Heart and vascular diseases: Sleep apnea is related to the occurrence of heart failure, heart attacks, uncontrollable hypertension, stroke, and atherosclerosis, which all directly endanger a person’s life.
- Eye diseases: Sleep apnea is associated with the impairment of vision that results in keratoconus, dry eye syndrome, and glaucoma
- Metabolic disorders: Sleep apnea is linked to the development of metabolic syndrome which further provokes obesity, glucose intolerance, and type 2 diabetes.
- Pregnancy complications: Sleep apnea means both a woman and a baby don’t receive enough oxygen and nutrients. This causes gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and low birth weight in a baby.
Sleep apnea is associated with the decrease in the body oxygenation. It means that the body in general and the brain in particular react to this in a form of hypotension. Then the blood pressure elevates and heart beating abnormally accelerates. And such a situation repeats many times, going round. These blood pressure fluctuations provoke the onset of inflammation which is further followed with blood clots and plaques, atherosclerosis, and pancreas disorders. This may finally lead to stroke or heart attack.