Why Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous – Causes and Treatment?

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A healthy sleep cycle can have tremendous impacts on a person’s life. Sleep deprivation can seriously affect how your body acts during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the many causes that can provoke sleep deprivation. Its effects can lead to higher level of anxiety, a higher risk of developing various diseases (from hypertension and breast cancer to diabetes), unhealthy cravings or a major disruption of your natural time clock.

Not only the person who suffers from sleep apnea won’t be able to have a healthy sleep cycle, but he will also affect the sleep cycle of the person who sleeps with him. Obstructive apnea is an affection that stops the airflow in the nose and mouth during sleep. It is represented by a ten-second breathing pause and can lead to many consequences. Here are more facts about sleep apnea:

Why it occurs?

There is no specific cause of sleep apnea, but certain factors can make it worse. Obesity, hypothyroidism, acromegalia and other craniofacial syndromes are usually accompanied by sleep apnea. An abnormal mandible or jaw position can cause sleep apnea as well. The symptoms of this affection can occur both during day and night. Persons who suffer from sleep apnea will face excessive sleepiness, falling asleep very easily when relaxed. Besides sleepiness, patients can notice a dry mouth sensation, sweating, and insomnia. The investigations you should make in case you have a suspicion that you’re suffering from sleep apnea include an endoscopy and a polysomnography. Consulting a specialist who can assess the situation is paramount for a correct diagnosis. Don’t take any measurements until you are completely sure about your diagnosis.

How can it be treated?

After correctly assessing the situation, you should start searching for treatment options. The experts at Snoring ABC recommend a series of CPAP machines that could alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. In case you can no longer cope with the effects of sleep apnea, there are surgical treatments that can entirely remove the causes of it. Although, not all cases of sleep apnea can be treated. Therapeutic methods are selected depending on the severity of sleep apnea. Treating this affection can include major lifestyle changes or even surgery. This last option should occur only when all other therapeutic methods failed in treating sleep apnea. Not everyone can have a surgical treatment performed. The patients who are eligible for a surgery include:

  • Patients who cannot have CPAP therapy (they are claustrophobic, non-compliant or always on the go)
  • Patients who have tonsils that greatly obstruct the respiratory system (size reduction)
  • Patients that suffer from a nasal obstructive pathology (septoplasty)

Risk factors

Most risk factors that can influence the apparition or the level of sleep apnea can be avoided, but not all of them can be controlled. The factors that you cannot control include age, sex, family history, medical conditions, and menopause. The factors that can be avoided include obesity, consuming alcohol, smoking, hormonal imbalances or poor sleep habits.

This article is for educative purposes only and not to be substituted for professional medical advice.

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