Beyond Snoring! Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea - Bansal Hospital

Beyond Snoring! Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Beyond Snoring! Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea bansal

You may have a partner who snores, which can be quite frustrating, but snoring can sometimes be more than annoying. It could be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA)! It is a common and potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and begins while you sleep. 

This disorder can cause a lack of oxygen to flow to the brain and other body parts, resulting in health complications like heart disease, stroke, and others if left untreated.

In this blog, we will dive deeper into understanding what exactly OSA is. So, if you or your partner is prone to snoring, read on to educate yourself about this disorder and learn how you can get treatment!

Table Of Contents

  1. What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
  2. What Are The Types Of Sleep Apnea?
  3. Causes Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  4. Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea 
  5. Diagnosis Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  6. Treatment Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea 
  7. Expert Advice
  8. The Final Say
  9. FAQs

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a sleep disorder. It is marked by recurrent upper airway collapses during sleep, resulting in obstructive apneas, hypopneas, and/or respiratory effort-related arousals. Snoring is an audible symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.

OSA is the most prevalent respiratory condition associated with sleep that affects your physical well-being. Although it can affect both genders and children, OSA is most prevalent among older guys. Following menopause, the incidence increases so that postmenopausal people’s rates are comparable.

Between the ages of 30 and 69, 936 million individuals globally have mild to severe OSA, and 425 million people have moderate to severe OSA, according to estimates based on five or more incidents each hour.

Based on a measurement and classification method known as the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), the severity of obstructive sleep apnea can range from moderate to severe. The AHI measures your average number of sleep apnea and hypopnea episodes per hour.

By degree of severity, obstructive sleep apnea is divided.

• Severe obstructive sleep apnea (AHI is at least 30 or more per hour)
• Moderate obstructive sleep apnea (AHI is between 15 and 30)
• Mild obstructive sleep apnea (AHI is between 5 and 15)

What Are The Types Of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea comes in three different types. They are as follows.

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This condition occurs when your upper airway repeatedly becomes clogged while sleeping, lowering or stopping airflow. The most typical kind of sleep apnea is this one. Obesity, large tonsils, or changes in hormone levels can all restrict the airway and raise the chance of developing obstructive sleep apnea.

  1. Central Sleep Apnea

This condition occurs when the brain fails to send the impulses necessary for breathing. Central sleep apnea can be brought on by medical disorders that interfere with how your brain regulates your airway and chest muscles.

  1. Complex Sleep Apnea

This condition arises when someone with obstructive sleep apnea, receiving continuous positive airway pressure treatment, also develops central sleep apnea.

Causes Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Multiple factors contribute to a person’s OSA, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause(s) and severity of the condition. Some common causes of obstructive sleep apnea include

  1. Obesity

Excess body weight is one of the leading causes of OSA. When you are overweight, the extra fat deposits around the neck and throat can narrow the airway, making breathing difficult.

  1. Age

As people age, the muscles in their throat and tongue may weaken, leading to an increased risk of OSA.

  1. Anatomical Factors

Some people may have a naturally narrow airway or a large tongue, tonsils, or adenoids that can obstruct the airway during sleep.

  1. Smoking And Alcohol Use

Smoking and alcohol can irritate the throat and relax the muscles, increasing the risk of OSA.

  1. Family History

There is evidence that OSA may run in families, suggesting that genetics play a role in the development of the condition.

  1. Medications

Certain medications, such as muscle relaxants and sedatives, can relax the muscles in the throat and lead to OSA.

  1. Chronic Nasal Congestion

Chronic congestion or obstruction of the nasal passages can make breathing difficult through the nose, forcing a person to breathe through the mouth and increasing the risk of OSA.

Symptoms Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

Several signs and symptoms including characterise obstructive sleep apnea.

• Excessive daytime sleepiness
• Morning headache
• Difficulty concentrating during the day
• Mood changes, such as depression or irritability
• High blood pressure
• Loud snoring
• Observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep
• Sudden awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking
• Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat

Diagnosis Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Your physician will examine you physically and enquire about your sleep. They could also want to enquire about your sleeping patterns from your housemates.

A sleep study may need to be performed at home or night spent in a sleep lab. You’ll wear monitors to track your heart rate, breathing patterns, eye movement, blood oxygen levels, blood flow, breathing patterns, electrical activity in your brain, eye movement, and arm and leg movement.

The study would note how frequently you experienced breathing issues while you slept.

Treatment Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

The treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s specific needs. Therefore, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your particular needs. 

Here are some common treatments for OSA:

  1. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy

This is the most common treatment for OSA. It involves wearing a mask over the nose and/or mouth while sleeping, delivering continuous air pressure to keep the airway open.

  1. Oral Appliances

Certain oral appliances, such as mandibular advancement devices, can reposition the jaw and tongue to keep the airway open while sleeping.

  1. Surgery

In rare cases, surgery may be recommended to correct structural issues in the airway that contribute to OSA.

  1. Lifestyle Changes

Making specific lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed, and sleeping on one’s side, can help reduce OSA symptoms.

Expert Advice

Below are some food items that one should include if going through sleep apnea.

Foods High in Melatonin: Melatonin is a natural sleep aid in various fruits and vegetables. This drowsy hormone is also present in asparagus, corn, cherries, grapes, broccoli, and cucumbers. And a lot of people advise tart cherry juice as the most significant unprocessed melatonin source.

Omega-3 Foods: Omega-3 fatty acids can aid in the production of melatonin by your body (the sleepy hormone described above). The possible best source of omega-3 fatty acids is seafood, so get some tuna, salmon, and prawns.

Foods infused with tryptophan: Tryptophan, best known for its presence in turkey, is an amino acid that, when eaten, transforms into melatonin. Furthermore, it can be found in fish, chicken, nuts, beans, and a wide range of vegetables.

The Final Say

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a widely prevalent sleep disorder affecting millions worldwide. Unfortunately, it is often underdiagnosed, leading to severe health complications like heart disease, stroke, and other related health problems. 

Identifying the early signs and symptoms and seeking a proper diagnosis can help you lead a healthier and more productive life. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment, Bansal Hospital Bhopal is the best option in the town as it is well-equipped and has experienced medical staff. Do visit!

About Bansal Hospital

Bansal Hospital is a multispeciality hospital and is one of the leading, reputable and reliable healthcare providers trusted by patients and their families across the region. It has all the major departments, including cardiology, neurology, oncology, orthopaedics, gastroenterology, urology, and more. The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and technology and has a team of highly qualified and experienced doctors and medical staff who provide round-the-clock care to the patient.

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Breathing repeatedly stops and begins while you sleep, which is a frequent symptom of sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most prevalent of the many forms of sleep apnea. This kind of sleep apnea happens when the muscles in your throat periodically relax and close off your airway. Snoring is an audible symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.

High in melatonin, omega-3 foods, and foods infused with tryptophan can help with sleep apnea.

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