Apnea is a temporary interruption of breathing. People suffering from sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) are repeatedly stopping breathing during sleep, for periods ranging from several seconds to a minute or more. These disruptions cause a decrease in the amount of oxygen in the blood, which can cause serious complications and even death. If not treated, apnea can have serious consequences in couple life but also on the individual life.

Apnea types

       There are three types of apnea:

  • Obstructive
  • Central
  • Mixed

Sleep apnea symptoms

        ...read more about sleep apnea symptoms: Sleep apnea symptoms

       If you don't go to see a doctor even if you realize that you have a problem, your condition will worsen. If you ignore the sleep apnea symptoms you might have to deal with serious complications. It's up to you to resolve your snoring and have a normal life.

       It is important to know that a person who suffer from sleep apnea often does not remember the episodes during the night. The predominant sleep apnea symptoms are usually associated with excessive daytime sleepiness, due to lack of sleep during the night. Often, some family members, especially spouses, witness the periods of no breathing. A person with obstructive sleep apnea usually snore very loudly just after falling asleep. The snoring becomes louder after several minutes, but is then interrupted by a long period of silence during which there is no breathing.

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Obstructive sleep apnea

       In this type of apnea, the airflow ceases despite respiratory pulse, because of the oropharyngeal obstruction with persistent thoraco-abdominal respiratory movements. Obstructive apnea is usually accompanied by reduction in oxygen saturation, and followed by a short wake and then the normal breathing starts again.

Central sleep apnea and apnea tests

       Central apnea is a neuronal dysfunction and is very different from obstructive sleep apnea although the effects are similar. In order to diagnose a sleep apnea, a polysomnography will be done.

       Mixed apnea, consists of a central apnea followed by an obstructive component.

Apnea causes and apnea of prematurity symptoms

       Leading cause of apnea is the upper airway obstruction, most often to the naso-pharyngeal level. During sleep, the muscles of the tongue and throat relax, causing partial airway obstruction. For most patients with apnea symptoms, certain anatomical defects are present. Obstructive sleep apnea is almost five times more common in men compared with women at the same age before menopause. After menopause, women have the same risk of developing the disease as men.

       Other causes contributing to the development of apnea are obesity (70% of patients are obese), age(occurs rarely under 30 years), nasal obstruction, alcohol, tranquilizers, sleeping on the back and family history. Apnea is very common in premature kids and it's main cause is the obstruction of the airways but also an immature nervous system. After birth, the baby is monitored by doctors so they can find out the apnea origin. They will observe brain activity and they will also make some blood exams.

Apnea treatment

        ...read more about apnea treatment: Apnea treatment

       General measures of treating apnea are:

  • Corporeal weight loss
  • Avoid drinking alcohol after 6 pm
  • Avoid taking sleeping pills
  • Stopping smoking

       The standard treatment used in apnea syndrome symptoms is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). Pharyngeal CPAP device delivers pressurized air through a mouth or facial masks. There are several types of apparatus:

  • CPAP - device which provides a constant pressure established by the doctor during sleep
  • AutoCPAP - the device provides a variable pressure depending on the events detected by body position and sleep stages
  • BIPAP - device that provides two levels of pressure, a higher pressure on inspiration and expiration on a smaller pressure

        Treatment is different for each patient. Apnea alternative treatments are:

  • Prosthetic mandibular advancement
  • Wave laser therapy palate

Sleep apnea surgery

       Surgery is often recommended by the specialists because is a more sure way than other treatments in order to ger rid of the apnea symptoms. Even if the surgery has its risks and has the disadvantage of a long period of recovery, it is preferred by the patients. Bariatric surgery and traheostomy are often performed. Bariatric surgery is made in people who suffer from obesity and is well known that obesity is strong related to apnea. Traheostomia refers to a hole in the trachea as the name says. In order to achieve a normal breathing, this hole is covered by a tube.

Symptoms of sleep apnea in children

       Sleep apnea is very common among children and is usually cured by surgery. Adenoids removal and tonsillectomy are performed in order to obtain clean airways. These are painful surgeries but is the best way to solve the symptoms of sleep apnea in children. After recovery, the child can have a normal sleep without waking up. The main risk of these surgeries is bleeding which can occur after couple of days after the operation.

Severe sleep apnea symptoms and apnea cures

        ...read more about apnea symptoms: Apnea symptoms

       Severe sleep apnea can be mild, moderate or severe. The most serious consequence of severe sleep apnea is cardiovascular disease. You should consult a doctor if you have unexplained sleepiness during the day and if you observe cognitive function disorders.

       There are a lot of apnea symptoms cures and often the patient can also try herbal remedies. Chamomile and pine tea used in form of inhalation are useful in treating apnea.