Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a Silent Killer.

One of the most common types of sleep disorders or sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) which is caused by obstruction of the airway. The obstruction occurs during sleep as the lower jaw slips backwards and essentially closes the upper airway which results in reduction of the oxygen level in the blood stream. The pausing and gasping for air is called “apnea” which means without breath.

It is estimated that around 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. What is so dangerous is that about 80-90% of them are undiagnosed.

Snoring could be harmless, however, it is a sign of airway obstruction and this results from the tongue rolling back into the throat when an individual is sleeping. This causes a blockage of the airway which results in snoring and sleep apnea.

 

Did you know:

SEX

Males are more likely to have OSAHS, Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Hypopnea Syndrome than females. There are many theories behind this fact. Males generally store more fat in their upper body, esspecially in their neck than women. Females also have some hormonal protection against OSAHS. These hormonal differences could be one reason females present with different symptoms than men. Men present with more obvious symptoms such as snoring, witnessed apnea, and tiredness. However, females may present with symptoms such as fatigue, mood disorders, Temporal Mandibular Disease (TMD), or insomnia.

 

AGE

Another interesting factor is age. Children with OSA will often show mouth breathing, bedtime problems, and bedwetting. In many cases they may show hyperactivity, difficulty concentrating in school or during daily activties. Older adults present with tiredness, narrow palate or snoring.

 

HEART OR BLOOD PRESSURE PROBLEMS

Individuals with OSAHS develop inflammatory responses which cause hypertension, aka high blood pressure. But the good news is that with a good airway system and preventing OSA the inflammatory response will be eliminated.

There are many options to treat sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a silent killer. An individual with sleep apnea is at greater risk of death from stroke. Take this matter seriously and seek professional help.