Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where an individual stops breathing throughout the night. This will occur frequently, repeated for a few minutes and often during sleep. This issue can be caused by complete or partial airway obstruction. In both cases, a person who suffers from sleep apnea wakes. There are three different types of sleep apnea. With 80 percent of all sleep apnea patients, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common one among the three according to solidsleeping.com.
The soft palate is the location of the most common blocked airways in most patients. There are no fixed structures such as bone or cartilage in this region for open-air passage to hold. During the day to keep the muscles in this area, the airway open. But, if a person who has obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles relax, to the respiratory tract and locked together. Breathing will stop when the airway is blocked thus the patient will wake up suddenly to breathe, which will then open up the airway passage. This may take a few seconds, but this constant sleep disturbance will cause ever lasting effects. This disturbance of sleep can prevent a person from reaching REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM is the part of sleep where our brain recharges and receives the energy we need to focus, concentration and to provide our bodies with the right amount of energy as well. With OSA, the patient will keep going through this cycle throughout the whole night.
Risk For Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Weight gain is the greatest risk for obstructive sleep apnea because fat accumulates on the sides of the upper respiratory tract, the air passage becomes narrower, which can optionally be closed when the muscle relaxation. Another risk associated with obstructive sleep apnea is age. The most common consequence of aging is the loss of muscle mass thus if muscle mass is lost in the air passageway, it will start to be replaced with fat. This then allows the passage of the soft and narrow air. The most common symptoms of OSA are restless sleep, loud snoring and fatigue during the day as well as drowsiness. It is very important that if you are diagnosed with OSA, this disease be treated early. Some natural therapies such as lifestyle changes, exercising to lose weight and stop smoking can help a lot.
When a OSA sufferer considers options for the treatment of their sleep disorder, he or she might be tempted to not go through with it. Therefore, it is important to remember that not treating it will only cause more harm then good. If you suffer from OSA, consult with your doctor about the best way to treat this sleep disorder. Some antidepressants such as Prozac, and Protriptyline were used to treat the obstructive sleep apnea. However, these drugs have mild effects of treating obstructive sleep apnea. This condition could get worse with the use of these drugs by increasing the tone of the upper air passage and also the reduction of REM sleep.