Some of us go through this phase where no matter how much we sleep, we can’t seem to get enough. Despite having an eight-hour of sleep, which is supposed to be sufficient, we experience daytime sleepiness.
While multiple health issues can cause this, in most cases, it’s caused by obstructive sleep apnea OSA. So, how would you detect OSA? And how do you remedy it?
In this article, you’ll discover what sleep apnea is, how it affects you, what causes it, and how to remedy it. So, let’s get started!
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea isn’t the only type of sleep apnea known. There are other types such as central sleep apnea. However, obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. This occurs when the upper airway of your respiratory tract is blocked due to some reason.
The upper airway obstruction forces your chest muscles and diaphragm to work much harder so that air can be pushed into your lungs. However, the increasing pressure of the diaphragm changes the air pressure, so breathing becomes very shallow.
In fact, in certain conditions, you may even fail to breathe. And in certain cases, you’ll snort, jerk, or even breath with a loud gasp. The entire thing disrupts your sleep, but in most cases, the patients with OSA don’t even realize that they’re going through this.
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is caused when the muscles controlling your respiratory tract get too relaxed. This narrows your throat down, thus increasing the air pressure and reducing the intake of air.
To get the muscles back to their appropriate form, patients with OSA will wake up but will not remember it afterward.
However, obstructive sleep apnea is caused by other disorders as well. For example, obesity often leads to obstructive sleep apnea. Other health conditions such as tonsilitis, heart failure, and endocrine disorders can lead to OBS.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There are some symptoms that will help you detect obstructive sleep apnea. They are discussed in the following:
- One of the most common symptoms is the feeling of being tired or fatigued during the daytime, even after what seemed to be a proper sleep.
- If you have sleep apnea, you’re likely to experience a sore throat or a dry mouth after waking up. This is because you’ll have to struggle to inhale air, and it may have some effect on your throat. Also, as you’ll be breathing through your mouth, it’ll leave your mouth dry.
- Some patients experience headaches in the morning due to moderate obstructive sleep apnea
- You may sweat during your sleep as you’ll have to put in extra effort to breathe properly
- Due to the lack of adequate sleep, one feels depressed, has trouble remembering details, fails to concentrate properly, and even becomes cranky over time.
- You’ll be very restless during your sleep.
- A lot of the time, patients experience a lack of sex drive.
- You may wake up suddenly and feel as if you’re choking or gasping. This is experienced when the condition worsens and becomes extreme.
- You’ll have trouble getting up in the morning as you won’t have a proper sleep at night.
- Some patients also experience high blood pressure.
- In rare cases, it also leads to GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- Some patients wake up regularly at night to pee.
Sleep apnea in adults may show different symptoms than that in children. Here are certain symptoms that children suffering from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome may exhibit:
- Children suffering from OSA may wet their bed during sleep
- You may find the child choking or drooling in sleep due to sleep-disordered breathing
- Sleep apnea makes children sweat a lot at night
- One important pointer is you may find the ribcage of the child going inward while he or she is trying to breathe out
- Teeth grinding is a common symptom of severe OSA
- The child may seem sluggish or experience excessive daytime sleepiness
The sleeping positions of the child may become unusual. For example, they may sleep with their neck bent far back
If you, someone around you, or your child is suffering from sleep apnea, these are the symptoms that you should look out for. Now, needless to say, you may not find all of these symptoms in one person.
However, if most of the boxes are checked, it can be assumed that the person is suffering from sleep apnea. Still, you shouldn’t decide on anything without the consultation of a professional.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Risk Factors
It’s found that people with certain physical conditions are more likely to experience obstructive sleep apnea. Here are some of them:
- Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is more prevalent in males
- The older you get, the more you are likely to experience OSA
- Most OSA patients are found to be Hispanic, Native American, and African
- Sleep apnea is known as a hereditary health condition as it passes down through generations
- OSA is commonly found in diabetic patients
- Smoking often leads to OSA
- If you have a large or thick neck, you may experience sleep apnea
- OSA is prevalent among obese people
- If the airways to your nose and mouth are narrow, you have a higher chance of experiencing sleep apnea
- People with a larger tongue tend to block a considerable portion of their respiratory tract while sleeping, and this leads to sleep apnea
- If you have too much tissue at the back of your throat, you’re likely to experience sleep apnea
How Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affect You?
Obstructive sleep apnea can affect OSA patients in various ways. In this section, we’ll discuss how OSA can affect your lifestyle.
One of the most common symptoms of OSA is fatigue and sleepiness that they face the entire day. Obstructive sleep apnoea keeps you from experiencing quality sleep at night. So, you’re bound to suffer from a lot of drowsiness during the day.
You’re also supposed to be fatigued, and this can eventually lead to crankiness. As sleep apnea intensifies and a person goes a few days without proper sleep, that person may start falling asleep anywhere and anytime.
It starts with falling asleep while watching TV or reading a book and slowly evolves into something more dangerous such as falling asleep while driving. This is why sleep apnea is considered an extremely serious medical condition that requires immediate medical therapy.
When a person experiences OSA, he goes through a medical condition where the blood oxygen drops frequently. This increases blood pressure, thus straining the cardiovascular system.
And that is why people suffering from cardiovascular diseases are found to suffer from cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension.
In fact, prolonged experiences of hypertension can lead to heart disease. Moreover, OSA can lead to coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart attack, and even strokes. Obviously, this happens when the disease reaches an extreme condition.
That being said, the OSA might get worse over time if not treated at the right time.
Apart from these, OSA can also cause arrhythmias, a condition where the heart rate of a person becomes completely irregular. This can lower blood pressure, and if accompanied by other heart diseases, it can lead to death.
Complications During Surgical Treatments
If you’re going through a surgical treatment that involves anesthetics, then obstructive sleep apnea may be a problem. Medications such as narcotic analgesics, sedatives, as well as general anesthetics tend to relax the muscles of your upper airway.
This can make things even worse for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. After a major surgery, patients are usually sedated and laid on their backs.
In such cases, severe sleep apnea syndrome can prevent the person from breathing completely. This way, the patient faces the risk of choking.
So, before undergoing surgical treatment, one has to inform the doctor in case the person suffers from OSA. This way, the doctor will be able to make adequate preparations to prevent any mishap.
Although the reasons are still unknown to us, through research it’s been found that there’s a connection between certain eye conditions and obstructive sleep apnea. For example, it has a close connection with glaucoma.
Some Common Treatment Options for OSA Patients
There are multiple ways of treating obstructive sleep apnea. In the following, we’ll take a look at the options you can choose from when treating sleep apnea.
Losing Excess Weight
As discussed previously, sleep disorders like OSA can often be triggered due to obesity. If obesity is what’s triggering OSA for you, then a bit of weight loss can really help you get your sleep back to health. Some people even go as far as getting bariatric surgery to lose weight.
However, we recommend you exercise regularly, quit smoking, and take positional therapy. If excessive weight is what’s causing OSA for you, maintaining these three will help you prevent sleep apnea.
Refraining from Alcohol and Sleeping Pills
A lot of people take sleep medicine to help them sleep better at night. However, this actually makes the condition even worse, as sleeping pills tend to relax your respiratory tract muscles greatly.
The same can be said for alcohol. This is why OSA patients should refrain from these. Also avoiding pain medications also tends to help.
Sleeping on Your Side
While this isn’t a perfect solution, it can help people who suffer from mild sleep apnea. It’s found that most people experience sleep apnea when they sleep on their backs. Sleeping on your side can mitigate this to some extent.
Nasal surgery and spray can help OSA patients who also suffer from sinus problems. In case of a sinus problem, there’s usually a lump of flesh that blocks a portion or the entirety of your upper airway stimulation. Using nasal sprays can get rid of the problem temporarily.
A CPAP therapy machine is essentially a mask that you have to wear over your nose and mouth. There’s also nasal CPAP where the mask is put on your nose only. This machine supplies air to your lungs at even air pressure.
One of the unique features of the CPAP treatment option is that it keeps the muscles of your upper airway tract from relaxing too much through continuous positive airway pressure. So you don’t feel the obstruction anymore.
There’s a more advanced treatment option than CPAP and it’s called BPAP. The difference is this machine offers two levels of air pressure, one for breathing in and the other for breathing out.
Those with mild to moderate OSA can be benefitted from oral appliances. There are certain OSA patients who suffer from this due to their tongue blocking their respiratory tract.
To help them, there is an oral appliance that can bring their throat and lower jaw forward, thus making a clearing for breathing.
There are people who have an extra layer of tissue or flesh blocking some of their upper way tracts. These people can consider undergoing surgery for the removal of these tissues.
Doing so might even fix their OSA permanently, so it’s worth a try. However, in many cases, the tissues tend to grow back after a few years, so this may not be suitable for everyone.
Upper Airway Stimulation
There are devices that can help you stimulate your upper airway. This is suitable for people who can’t tolerate CPAP or BPAP devices. In this treatment, you won’t need to put a mask on your nose.
Rather, a surgeon will put a small pulse generator right under the skin of your chest. A wire will connect the device to your lungs so it can track your breathing pattern.
There will be another wire that’ll lead up to your neck, and the purpose of the second wire is to send pulses to your nervous system that controls the muscles of your airway system.
So, combinedly, this device can help your muscles coordinate the breathing cycle much better. However, this method is much more expensive compared to the alternatives.
Another method is UPPP or UP3. Through UP3, surgeons will take out a portion of the soft tissue from the wall at the back of your throat. This creates a wider opening at your throat, thus making it easier for the patient to breathe.
Somnoplasty is one of the best treatment options for OSA patients who have loose tissues blocking their respiratory tract. Through this, the doctor will use a device to emit radiofrequency energy at the targeted tissue. Doing so will tighten the loose tissue, thus clearing out the opening.
What If There’s a Better Alternative?
As you can see, there are multiple ways that can help a person recover from sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. However, either these aren’t permanent or cost-effective.
This is where Sleepapneatreatment.com comes in. They offer Vivos sleep apnea treatment for obstructive sleep. Let’s take a look at how this treatment can aid you.
What Is the Vivos Sleep Apnea Treatment?
Vivos sleep apnea therapy is a specialized oral therapy for the management of obstructive sleep apnea. In this therapy, you will have to wear a small device on your mouth that’ll put pressure on the soft palate to ensure that your respiratory tract remains open throughout the night.
This will keep you from experiencing snoring, snorting, gasping, or any other condition that comes along with sleep apnea.
Although this may seem like just another oral appliance, the Vivos device distinguishes itself through one unique characteristic. Unlike other oral appliances that change the position of your lower jaw drastically, Vivos gradually changes the position depending on the level of your OSA.
In fact, it’s a mandibular repositioning device. The device applies pressure on your lower and upper jawbone gradually, thus shifting their position in the most appropriate way to ensure that your jaws remain open all night long.
What makes it even better is that the Vivos appliance is custom-made for every patient. So, no matter what complexities you’re going through regarding your jaw position, you can take this therapy to recuperate.
Also, this helps get rid of sleep apnea without leading to other health conditions. Plus, it’s been tested that 18 months of Vivos sleep apnea treatment can help a person get rid of the sleep disorder. In fact, you’ll start seeing results right after the initial therapy.
And yes, this statement was made based on years of data, it’s FDA-cleared, and it is backed by sleep experts as well as dentists. The best part is a Vivos appliance costs much less than a CPAP device or PAP therapy. So, it’s much more cost-effective.
Get a Home Testing
If you can relate to some of the symptoms we’ve mentioned, then you better contact Sleepapneatreatment.com for getting home sleep apnea testing. Once you sign up for this, the sleep clinic will send a sleep specialist over to your home with the necessary equipment for conducting a thorough sleep study.
This way, you won’t have to spend an entire night at a sleep center, rather can get diagnosed while sleeping in your own bed!
Whether you’re suffering from severe obstructive sleep apnea or mild, it’s important that you get tested for OSA. Unless swift actions are taken, OSA can spiral down to other sleep disorders and even heart diseases such as atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure.
We highly recommend contacting the sleep medicine specialists at Sleepapneatreatment.com. If you want to prevent sleep apnea with an affordable yet effective method, their Vivos therapy is unparalleled.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to gain better sleep quality and overall add value to your quality of life.