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Sleep apnea is another dangerous disorder

People may have such a dangerous disorder as sleep apnea but usually they do not even suspect it. Only one person of twenty receives a corresponding treatment for it due to the fact that not so many people know about the existence of such a sleep disorder - the level of social awareness of it is quite low. Also, the area of sleep processes is still not investigated profoundly. It has just begun to gain momentum in the past several years.

Regarding all this, the problem of sleep apnea does not become less dangerous for a human’s health and life.

What is sleep apnea?

It is a condition when it is impossible for a man to breathe while he/she is sleeping. There can be 30 or more respiratory standstills during one night which usually last for 20-30 seconds, but there are cases when people did not breathe for 2-3 minutes.

It is natural for a man to have his/her breathing passages (nose, mouth, windpipe, throat) open when asleep. It provides an unhindered air circulation: your organism gets a certain amount of oxygen while inhaling for a proper functioning of all internal organs (especially, heart and brain because they need it the most) and gets rid of it converted in the form carbon dioxide while exhaling.

When a man has his/her breathing passages partly blocked, a man is snoring while sleeping; when these passages are blocked completely, a man cannot breathe at all – it is a state of sleep apnea. Oxygen cannot get down your airway into your organism. When its level in your blood decreases to a dangerous minimum, your brain receives a signal and makes you wake up. Because of it, a man cannot reach a deep sleep stage and his/her organism cannot restore the energy it has lost during a day. That is why usually people who suffer from sleep apnea are extremely drowsy during a daytime, feel unbearable fatigue and headache.

Sleep apnea can be of two types:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (when throat muscles relax when a man is sleeping and airways become narrower than they should; it causes a difficulty to breathe).

  2. Central sleep apnea (it is less common than obstructive sleep apnea. The heart of the problem is that a man’s brain does not send commands to breathing muscles that is why a man stops to breathe at all. Central sleep apnea is usually caused by a heart failure or a stroke).

Frequency and duration of sleep apnea fits depend on the severity of the disorder. If it is severe, a man can find it difficult to breathe as soon as he/she has fallen asleep; a position in which he/she is sleeping does not matter here. If a man suffers from mild sleep apnea, he/she usually experiences respiratory standstills only in a deep sleep lying on his/her back.

Because of severe, frequent oxygen deprivation, sleep apnea can lead to a stroke, heart attack and arrhythmia. There are also many lethal outcomes.

That’s why you must consult a doctor if you have noticed:

Scientists have defined the factors that can increase the risk of having sleep apnea:

If you have sleep apnea, take into consideration that it is not only you who suffer from it; a person who sleeps with you in one bed feels its unfavorable influence too. People with sleep apnea can roll over in bed, mutter something, snore and wake up dozens of times per night. In addition, it is very scaring when a person beside just stops breathing.

Here what you can do on your own to provide yourself and your bed partner with a more or less sound night sleep:

Since 1981, those who suffer from sleep apnea can use CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. It is a special apparatus that provides a person with the stream of air of a certain pressure with the help of a tube to keep his/her airways open during the whole night. It can be used at home. However, it can be a little annoying and uncomfortable at first, you and your loved one will finally have a deep and relaxing sleep at night.

Also, there can be a surgical interference if your doctor notices a defect of breathing passages.