Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing becomes irregular during sleep. The quality of sleep is interrupted. People experiencing sleep apnea often wake up abruptly from deep sleep to find that they cannot breathe at night. Chronic sleep apnea is hard to diagnose.
Sleep apnea can be triggered by many factors, including smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and medications such as heart drugs, antidepressants, and sleeping pills. Stress can also cause it.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can damage the lining of the airway. This causes air to become trapped in the throat, which can be painful, causing snoring or waking with a choking sensation. Sleeping on one side-lying on your back can also aggravate the condition, especially when sleeping on a couch.
It is very common to have some form of sleep disorder at some point in life. There are many types of this disorder. There are three different categories that are typically diagnosed and treated in adults. These three categories are obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and intermittent sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep disorder in adults. In this condition, there is continuous loud snoring. When you are asleep, your breathing is disrupted by a hard stop or pause in breathing. The most common symptoms in obstructive sleep apnea include nasal congestion, nasal discharge, sore throat, fatigue, and nausea. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself, visit your doctor for an evaluation.
Central sleep apnea can occur in one or both sides of the throat. For instance, in this type of sleep disorder, breathing is not interrupted at night. This type of apnea can cause you to wake up during the night from a deep sleep. Many people notice that their speech becomes slurred and the eyes feel heavy and tired. People with this condition may also experience shortness of breath and feeling weak during the day.
Intermittent sleep apnea is more difficult to diagnose. This type of sleep disorder occurs only during the night. During sleep, the brain does not signal the body to breathe, so the muscles relax and oxygen is not properly delivered to the brain.
Intermittent sleep apnea is a more serious condition than obstructive sleep apnea. Breathing is interrupted and the person wakes up frequently during the night. Some symptoms of intermittent sleep apnea include difficulty falling asleep, lack of energy, and mental confusion.
Obstructive sleep apnea can occur throughout the body. Usually, this type of sleep disorder occurs when someone has a large brain tumor, or large tumors in the neck, neck veins, or middle ear. The increased brain activity during sleep allows a person to stop breathing, especially when snoring or sleeping on your back.
Intermittent obstructive sleep apnea is usually not noticed unless the problem is severe. This type of sleep disorder can occur during the night and can disrupt sleep for a period of time.
If you experience snoring or waking up during the night with a snoring or breathing problem, or if you are worried about your health, visit your doctor for a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Your doctor can help you find a treatment plan that will help you lead a normal sleep pattern.