January 18th, 2016 | The Blog
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition, which affects normal breathing while sleeping. Breathing becomes shallow with short interruptions, which last between 15 to 20 seconds, in the patient’s normal air exchange.
Facts About Sleep Apnea
Why Is It So Serious?
When sleep apnea occurs, it stops the flow of oxygen to various parts of the body. Restful sleep is interrupted and the patient experiences light, unrestful sleep. When the body does not have the opportunity to recover strength during sleep, the result is low energy, low productivity and irritability.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause daytime sleepiness and dulled reflexes. Serious health problems like obesity, high blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are negatively impacted for patients who suffer from sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
A family member or partner is often the one to notice interrupted breathing when someone has sleep apnea. The patient is often not aware of the actual occurrence.
The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include, but are not limited to, the following:
Causes and Risks for Sleep Apnea
There are risk factors that influence a patient developing sleep apnea. They include, but are not limited to:
Other treatment suggestions for sleep apnea:
Sleep apnea diagnosis and confirmation is found through a sleep study during which the patient is wired and observed in a clinical setting for a full night’s sleep. The results of the study help to determine the treatment plan. Some sleep apnea treatments evolve into choices like a CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine to force air into the lungs while the patient sleeps.
Sleep apnea is an important and potentially dangerous medical concern with far-reaching consequences and effects, which should be treated by a qualified healthcare provider.