Sleep Apnea and the Effects of Interrupted Sleep

Optimal health and well-being throughout your life depend on the quality and quantity of your sleep. It would help if you committed to a healthy sleep pattern to feel more alert when you wake. Your body supports brain function and physical development during sleep. Unfortunately, patients with sleep apnea Surprise are at risk of chronic health complications, thus necessitating the need for clinical intervention.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a respiratory complication where breathing stops during sleep. Although your brain protects you by waking you up in time to breathe, this condition affects restful sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea affecting patients. Obstructive sleep apnea is restricted breathing due to the presence of airway blockage. Central apnea happens when your brain fails to control your breathing while you sleep.

Why do you wake up during the night when you have sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea causes breathing to stop during sleep. Fortunately, your survival reflex will detect the lack of oxygen, waking you up to resume breathing. Although this reflex may save your life, it interrupts your sleep.

What are the short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption?

Deficits in quantity and quality of sleep hinder optimal brain function and systemic physiology. Patients with sleep apnea experience disruptions that cause changes in circadian rhythm increased mood disorders, and cognitive, memory, and performance deficits. Healthy individuals with sleep apnea are at risk of long-term consequences, including predispositions to hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and colorectal cancer.

Who can get sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect anyone. However, various risk factors increase a person’s predisposition to obstructive sleep apnea. For example:

  • Gender: People assigned male at birth (AMAB) are more likely to develop the condition before age 50.
  • Age: The older you get, the higher your chances of developing sleep apnea.
  • Obesity: Being overweight affects respiratory integrity and might cause blockages that affect your breathing during sleep.

Some risk factors specific to central sleep apnea include taking opioid medications, being over 60 years old, living in high altitudes, using CPAP, or having obstructive sleep apnea.

What is the procedure for diagnosing sleep apnea?

Some of the most popular tests clinicians use to diagnose sleep apnea patients include:

  • Polysomnogram: This overnight sleep study involves using sensors to determine the severity of your sleep apnea. The sensors usually monitor your heart rate, breathing, blood oxygen levels, and brain waves.
  • Home sleep apnea testing: The difference between this test and the former is that patients get to test their sleep apnea at home. Moreover, the test does not monitor brain waves.

What is the treatment of sleep apnea?

There is no cure for sleep apnea. The available treatments for sleep apnea depend on the type and severity of a patient’s condition. Sleep apnea treatments aim to alleviate the symptoms of the disease and their effects on your life.

Possible sleep apnea treatments include conservative (nonmedical) treatments, like weight loss, positive airway pressure and adaptive ventilation devices, oral appliances (mouthpieces), nerve stimulation, surgery, and medications. Contact the offices of Oasis Ear, Nose, and Throat to discuss your symptoms with a specialist and determine an effective treatment plan to restore quality sleep.

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