Do I have sleep Apnea?
You have had 8 hours sleep and yet you still feel tired. Is this you? This is a more common condition than you may think. You may just have a condition called Sleep Apnea.
This is when you have one or more pauses in your breathing while you sleep. This may happen a few times or up to hundreds of times per night.
To find out if you have this problem you can have a sleep test called a polysomnograph.
4-5% of woman and 8-10% of men suffer from this problem.
It is very often accompanied by snoring.
Sufferers often do not get enough oxygen during their sleep.
- Stop breathing during sleep.
- Tired on waking
- Struggle to stay awake during the day
- Wake up sweating
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Trips to bathroom during the night
- Blood pressure may be raised
- Mood swings
- Feel sleepy all the time
Types of Sleep Apnea
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea - Usually caused by some blockage in the throat
- Central Sleep Apnea - where there is a delay in signal from brain to breathing mechanism.
- Mixed Sleep Apnea- where there is a combination of both of the above types.
An overnight test monitors
- Brain Waves
- Muscle tension
- Eye movement
- Oxygen levels in blood
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Mild Sleep Apnea can be treated by
- Change of sleeping position
- Various mouth devices
- Device to bring the jaw forward
- A device to elevate the soft palate
Moderate to Severe Sleep Apnea
- Usually treated with CPAP (a nose mask through which oxygen is inhaled)
- Fixing a deviated septum may open nasal passages
- Removing tonsils or Adenoids may also help
- Rotatation advancement surgery when a forward displacement of the upper and lower jaw results in the respiratory passages being permanently expanded.
- After this procedure the patient is permanently cured of his sleep apnoea and do not have to depend breathing masks.
- This results in raise in Oxygen saturation which in turn has a positive effect on all other organs. The patient has a good quality sleep and is able to perform better and an added gain is the lowering of blood pressure.
Sleep Apnea, resulting in feeling sleepy all the time, should be treated and could potentially be a life threatening condition.
If left untreated it can lead to high risk of heart attack, strokes, impotence, irregular heart beat,and high blood pressure.
It can also lead to great suffering in an individual's personal and professional life.
If treated correctly, a person's quality of life can be significantly improved with renewed energy and feeling of well being. Concentration improves and so work and home life is much happier.