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India has a prevalence of Obstructive sleep Apnea is about 18 Crore and globally it is approx. 90 Crore, said by Dr Surya Kant... Harmful ‘Sleep Apnea’ begins with snoring

India has a prevalence of Obstructive sleep Apnea is about 18 Crore and globally it is approx. 90 Crore, said by Dr Surya Kant

 

 Lucknow: Unless your bed partner is disrupting your sleep, you probably don’t think of snoring as something to be overly concerned about. But frequent, loud snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea, Dr. Surya Kant, talks about sleep apnea being a common and potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts as you sleep. Although sleep apnea is treatable, it often goes unrecognized.

Dr. Surya Kant, Professor and Head of Department of Respiratory Medicine, King George Medical University, Lucknow said Sleep apnea affects the way you breathe when you’re sleeping. In untreated sleep apnea, breathing is briefly interrupted or becomes very shallow during sleep. These breathing pauses typically last between 10 to 20 seconds and can occur up to hundreds of times a night, jolting you out of your natural sleep rhythm. As a consequence, you spend more time in light sleep and less time in the deep, restorative sleep you need to be energetic, mentally sharp, and productive the next day.

This chronic sleep deprivation results in daytime sleepiness, slow reflexes, poor concentration, and an increased risk of accidents. Sleep apnea can also lead to serious health problems over time, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain. But with treatment you can control the symptoms, get your sleep back on track, and start enjoy being refreshed and alert every day.

 

Types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apneais the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, often causing you to snore loudly.
  • Central sleep apneais a much less common type of sleep apnea that involves the central nervous system, occurring when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing. People with central sleep apnea seldom snore.
  • Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

 

What happens due to sleep apnea?

As airflow stops during a sleep apnea episode, the oxygen level in your blood drops. Your brain responds by briefly disturbing your sleep enough to kick start breathing—which often resumes with a gasp or a choking sound. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you probably won’t remember these awakenings. Most of the time, you’ll stir just enough to tighten your throat muscles and open your windpipe. In central sleep apnea, you may be conscious of your awakenings.

 

Sleep apnea signs and symptoms:

It can be tough to identify sleep apnea on your own, since the most prominent symptoms only occur when you’re asleep. But you can get around this difficulty by asking a bed partner to observe your sleep habits, or by recording yourself during sleep.

If pauses occur while you snore, and if choking or gasping follows the pauses, these are major signs that you have sleep apnea.

Another common sign of sleep apnea is fighting sleepiness during the day, at work, or while driving.

You may find yourself rapidly falling asleep during the quiet moments of the day when you are not active. Even if you don’t have daytime sleepiness, talk with your doctor if you have problems breathing during sleep.

Other common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea

  • Morning headaches
  • Memory or learning problems and not being able to concentrate
  • Feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings or personality changes
  • Waking up frequently to urinate
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up

Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Being male
  • Being overweight
  • Being over age 40
  • Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
  • Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
  • Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problem

What Are the Effects of Sleep Apnea?

If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure, irregular  heartbeats, and heart attacks
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Worsening of ADHD
  • Headaches

In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents.

Treatment options for sleep apnea

  1. CPAP for sleep apnea

Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP) is the most common treatment for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. In many cases, you’ll experience immediate symptom relief and a huge boost in your mental and physical energy. The CPAP device is a mask-like machine that provides a constant stream of air that keeps your breathing passages open while you sleep. Most CPAP devices are the size of a tissue box.

If you’ve given up on sleep apnea machines in the past because of discomfort, you owe it to yourself to give them a second look. CPAP technology is constantly being updated and improved, and the new CPAP devices are lighter, quieter, and more comfortable.

A CPAP machine prevents sleep apnea by blowing air into a mask that covers the nose and mouth. The stream of air keeps the airways open.

After the usage of 3 months of CPAP device, patient shows dramatic changes such as;

  • Controlled sugar level
  • Controlled BP
  • Weight loss
  • Improves the cognitive functions

 

  1. Other Treatments

Dental devices can be also administered to manage obstructive sleep apnea. In the initial stage, losing weight can also be an option of managing sleep apnea. Further, certain ENT surgeries are available to treat the chronic effects of Sleep Apnea

Parul Bishnoi

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