Sleep apnoea is a disorder were you breathing will be briefly but repeatedly interrupted while you are asleep. The word apnoea in the name here actually refers to a break in your breathing for at least about ten seconds. Now obstructive sleep apnoea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat cannot keep the airway open, even though you are trying to breathe. Another form of this condition is called central sleep apnoea in which, the brain cannot properly control your breathing while you are asleep. However obstructive sleep apnoea is much more common than central sleep apnoea.
What Can It Do?
Well, to start off with, it will cause fragmented sleep and also low levels of oxygen in your blood. For those who are affected by sleep apnoea the combination of having a rather disturbed sleep and lack of oxygen can also cause conditions such as hypertension or heart disease as well as mood issues and memory problems. People who have the condition try their best to get better sleep but without the right treatment, this can be virtually impossible. It can also increase your risk of drowsy driving.
Who Is Affected by Sleep Apnoea?
It has been observed that in the USA alone over 18 million adults have this condition. However, the data available for the condition in children is vague as there are many different monitoring methods. This condition can occur in pretty much any age group and regardless of sex.
What Are the Causes of Sleep Apnoea?
There are a large number of factors that can increase the risk of sleep apnoea and that could include having a small upper airway, having a large tongue, uvula or tonsils. It could also be brought on if you are overweight, have a recessed chin, have a large overbite, small jaw or a large neck. Smoking and alcohol use are also connected to sleep apnoea and some ethnicities such as African-Americans seem to show a higher risk for the condition, while the fact that it seems to be passed on to family members could possibly indicate a genetic premise.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea?
One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnoea is chronic snoring which is also a very strong indicator of this condition. If you have this, you should visit a doctor for evaluation. Because people with sleep apnoea are also sleep deprived, they will suffer from a wide range of conditions like sleeplessness and lack of focus or difficulty in concentrating, depression, sexual dysfunction, irritability, memory issues and learning difficulties, falling asleep while you are at work on the phone or even while you are driving. If the condition is left untreated, the symptoms of the sleep apnoea can worsen to include consistently disturbed sleep, chronic and excessive sleepiness during the day, hypertension also called high blood pressure, heart attacks, cardiac arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, depression and stroke. These are some of the main facts that you should be aware of when it comes to sleep apnoea so that you can get the help you need on time.