Sleep Apnea Causes, Consequences and Treatment

Sleep Apnea Causes, Consequences and Treatment

Stand next to someone who snores can mean spending the night with insomnia. But if it is a case of obstructive sleep apnea, the consequences in their most severe mold, can be a passport to a nightmare. It is therefore important to know the disease and its symptoms, it is the first step towards an early diagnosis.

This disease is very common in humans, and its prevalence of about 10% of adult males. It is characterized mainly by the appearance, during sleep, of breathing stops (sleep apnea) and intense snoring. It is usually referred to by the housemates of patients who can not sleep and suffer from insomnia, because the snoring is strong and because the patient has pauses in breathing.

Sleep Apnea Causes

The factors that trigger a state of sleep apnea are varied. The stops in breathing is a result of pharyngeal collapse during sleep. The causes that lead to the closure of the pharynx are multiple and may be related to the anatomically constitution of the pharynx, which affects more easily its closure during sleep, but there are also external causes, as weight gain, alcohol consumption especially at night, smoking, overeating at dinner, and consumption of sleep medications, which can promote occlusion of the pharynx that controls the entry of air into the lungs.

Sleep Apnea Consequences

It is essential to know the most common consequences for a person with a clinical picture of sleep apnea:

The most important consequences are arterial hypertension, which often is associated and it is often difficult to control with medication, cardiac arrhythmias and, in severe cases, myocardial infarction, stroke and sudden death. In addition, it is noted that even the easy sleep during the day may be responsible for traffic accidents and at work.

Sometimes the disease is silent and the symptoms are not valued. For the diagnosis it is mandatory to talk to the patient and her companion. In many cases patients do not complain and are the companions who warn of the existence of a sleep disturbance (intense snoring, pauses in breathing and restless sleep).

In others, are the patients themselves who are tired and fall asleep easily during the day. For confirmation of diagnosis it is critical to conduct a polygraph recording of the sleep, made overnight, with the patient asleep and preferably in a hospital or clinic. The survey not only allows the confirmation of diagnosis, but also to assess the severity of the sleep apnea and to decide the best treatment.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Patients who in sleep register a significant number of pauses in breathing should be treated with a nasal ventilator, which is to administer during the night and when the patient is sleeping, pressurized air through a nasal mask. This treatment will allow the opening of the pharynx, preventing snoring and breathing stops.
Surgical treatment should be reserved for patients with normal body weight and that register in sleep a low number of apnea or just snoring.

Whatever the situation, it is always recommended to patients:

  • Lose weight if they have excess
  • Make small meals for dinner
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages
  • Do not smoke
  • Do not take sleeping pills
  • Do not lie down without a pillow
  • And don't lie down with your nose plugged.

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