What Are The Causes Of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a persons airway becomes blocked during sleep. Multiple factors have been found to increase the risk of blockage and OSA:
- Anatomical characteristics. The size and positioning of a persons neck, jaw, tongue, tonsils, and other tissue near the back of the throat can directly affect airflow.
- Obesity. Being overweight is a leading cause of OSA and may be an underlying risk factor in up to 60% of cases. Obesity contributes to anatomical narrowing of the airway, and research has found that a 10% increase in weight can equate to a six-fold increase in OSA risk.
- Sleeping on your back. This sleeping position makes it easier for tissue to collapse around the airway and cause blockages.
- Nasal congestion. People whose ability to breathe through the nose is reduced because of congestion are more likely to experience OSA.
- Hormone abnormalities. Hormone conditions like hypothyroidism and acromegaly may increase the risk of OSA by causing swelling of tissue near the airway and/or contributing to a persons risk of obesity.
In CSA, breathing is affected in a different way than in OSA. Instead of an obstruction causing breathing lapses, the problem arises in how the brain communicates with the muscles responsible for respiration. In particular, the brain stem fails to adequately perceive the levels of carbon dioxide in the body, leading to breathing that is slower and shallower than it should be.
Facts You Should Know About Sleep Apnea
- Sleep apnea is defined as a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep.
- The three types of sleep apnea are central apnea, obstructive apnea, and a mixture of central and obstructive apnea.
- Central sleep apnea is caused by a failure of the brain to activate the muscles of breathing during sleep.
- Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the collapse of the airway during sleep.
- The complications of obstructive sleep apnea include high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, automobile accidents, and daytime sleepiness as well as difficulty concentrating, thinking and remembering.
- Obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed and evaluated by history, physical examination and polysomnography .
- The nonsurgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea include behavior therapy, including weight loss, medications, dental appliances, continuous positive airway pressure, bi-level positive airway pressure, and auto-titrating continuous positive airway pressure.
- The surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea include nasal surgery, palate surgery , upper airway stimulation therapy, tongue reduction surgery, genioglossus advancement, maxillo-mandibular advancement, tracheostomy, and bariatric surgery.
You Are At Higher Risk Of Having Tinnitus From Sleep Apnea If You Belong To The Following Demographics
1 Cardiovascular problems
Do you have heart problems? Sleep apnea might compound your heart function and circulatory problems that can in turn increase your chances of getting Tinnitus or making Tinnitus worse.
2 You are diabetic
Being diabetic gives your body a challenging relationship with sugars you consume. And sugar and Tinnitus have a definite connection.
3 You smoke
Smoking constricts blood vessels and can compound circulatory problems that may be already caused by your sleep apnea problems.
4 You are overweight;
Being obese or overweight increases fat deposits along the respiratory tract. This in turn limits muscle activity and quality of breathing. Hypoxic and apneic episodes follow, which then translate into sleep apnea.
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Is There A Link Between Sleep Apnea And Depression
Studies have shown that sleep apnea and depression are the two associated comorbidities, which can immensely improve the patients health if detected early and treated promptly.
While about 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, 15 million people experience major depressive episodes each year. So its likely that a substantial number of individuals are inflicted with both conditions simultaneously.
Both OSA and depression are associated with mood swings, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and poor concentration. Thus, in patients with OSA, Major Depressive Disorders should be ruled out prior to treatment. These co-related problems must be appropriately diagnosed to be treated effectively
Left Untreated Your Health Can Suffer
Imagine if you had trouble breathing 30 times an hour while you were awake, causing you to lose your breath, choke and cough. Youd likely rush to your closest emergency room in a panic. For as many as one in 15 people, this is exactly what happens to them while they sleep. The condition is called sleep apnea, and it can lead to a range of serious health issues if left untreated.
Unfortunately, many cases do go untreated, simply because the person suffering from sleep apnea has no idea theyre dealing with such a serious medical condition.
“Many of our patients come in because a bed partner or roommate notices snoring and disrupted sleep,” explained Dr. Sreelatha Naik, Geisinger sleep physician. “However, many patients are referred to us by cardiologists and other specialists that recognize some of the effects of sleep apnea, such as heart disease and stroke. Recognizing the symptoms early can help you get treatment before the related health issues go from bad to worse.”
The common signs of sleep apnea
Although you may not know you have sleep apnea since youre sleeping or nearly sleeping when it happens there are some clues that you should watch for:
There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
What happens if you have sleep apnea?
Resulting health problems include:
- Arrhythmia, such as AFib or heart flutters
- Heart attack
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Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome Is A Combination Of Osa And Central Sleep Apnea
Doctors have recently identified a third type of sleep apnea called complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.; Patients with this type of sleep apnea may at first seem to have obstructive sleep apnea, but unlike typical patients with obstructive sleep apnea, these patients symptoms are not fully addressed with the use of CPAP.
In patients with complex sleep apnea syndrome, breathing problems persist even after the airway obstruction is addressed and treated, which means something besides the collapsing throat muscles are also contributing to the apnea.
The problem is that there is still a lot of debate among sleep medicine specialists about whatexactly is going on in complex sleep apnea, or what the key characteristics that define it are.;
In a study published in March 2014 in the journal Sleep Medicine Clinics, doctors conducted a review of 223 patients referred to the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center over one month, as well as 20 patients diagnosed with central sleep apnea. 00122-7/abstract” rel=”nofollow”>11) They found that 15 percent of all sleep apnea patients had complex sleep apnea. As many as 84 percent were found to have obstructive sleep apnea, and 0.4 percent had central sleep apnea.
Hearing Loss Caused By Loud Snoring
Prolonged exposure to loud noises can easily cause hearing loss that can in turn cause Tinnitus. Loud snoring is something that a lot of sleep apnea patients struggle with. Snoring can easily have decibel scores in excess of 85, the cut off for loud noises. Prolonged exposure to these loud snoring sounds can cause or worsen Tinnitus.
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Things You Can Do To Keep Your Pain More Manageable
If youre worried that sleep apnea may be worsening your pain, the good news is that theres plenty of things you can do for pain management.
And if you keep your pain more manageable, that will help keep you out of the cycle of pain and poor sleep.
Given how much sleep affects pain, it should be no surprise its at the top of the list.
Its important youre making the best of your sleep opportunities.; Do what ever you can to get as much as quality rest as possible.
Start with sticking with your sleep hygiene and doing everything you can to keep your sleep on schedule.; Your every day habits can set the stage for deep restful sleep.
Poor sleep hygiene can sabotage everything else youre doing to improve your sleep.;
For better sleep hygiene, sleep experts suggest you: keep consistent wake up & sleep times avoid naps avoid large meals, alcohol, or stimulants such as caffeine before bedtime maintain a regular bedtime routine avoid using TVs, laptops, or other electronics before sleep keep your bedroom dark, cool, quiet, & relaxing
2) Sleep apnea treatment
If you want to sleep better, you of course have to get your sleep apnea under control.
You should also make sure you have a sleep apnea treatment thats working for you.; Some people have a hard time with CPAP, the most common obstructive sleep apnea treatment, and give up.;
Thats for sure to keep you in the cycle of pain and poor sleep.
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3) Pain meds
4) Try an ice pack
How Does Sleep Apnea Treatment Affect Blood Pressure
There are a number of treatment options for OSA. Treatment not only improves sleep quality but could also help manage hypertension. The most common and effective treatment is called continuous positive airway pressure .
CPAP treatment involves wearing a facemask attached to a machine that pumps air into the lungs at night. It works by preventing the airway from collapsing, which improves sleep quality in people affected by OSA. Studies investigating the effects of CPAP in patients with hypertension and OSA have shown that treatment with CPAP lowers blood pressure during the day and at night, especially in patients with severe OSA. CPAP also reduces catecholamine levels.
Some patients have a hard time adjusting to the CPAP facemask at night. Consistent, proper use of CPAP is important in order to effectively manage OSA and hypertension. Mouthpieces are one alternative to CPAP and are designed to help maintain an open airway during sleep. Research is needed to determine if mouthpieces also lower blood pressure in people who experience high blood pressure and OSA. Certain surgical procedures are also done to treat OSA in selected patients.
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What You Can Do To Prevent Sleep Apnea
Lowering your risk of developing sleep apnea is in large part about minimizing the risk factors that you have control over. Here are some of those steps you can take:
- Talk to your doctor about ways you can try to minimize your risk factors. Does your family have a history of sleep apnea? Do you have a health condition, like diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension, that could increase your risk of sleep apnea? Do you need to lose weight? Discuss with your doctor things you can do to prevent sleep apnea, or get screened for the condition so you can treat it early, before complications from sleep apnea develop.
- Eat a healthy diet. Choose heart-healthy options, like a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. This can not only reduce your sleep apnea risk, but can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall health.
- Stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk of sleep apnea as well as a host of other health problems and illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- Steer clear of depressants. Cut down the amount of alcohol you drink and avoid any medication, such as sedatives and opioids, that relaxes your muscles and suppress your central nervous system signals.
- Avoid sleeping on your back. Try sleeping on your side so that your tongue and soft palate are less likely to collapse into your airway and block the flow of oxygen.
What You Need To Know About How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Heart
Snoring can keep you awake, ruin your sleep cycle and your daily rhythm, even harm your relationships. But more than being just an annoyance, snoring may bring about life-threatening consequences.If youve ever awakened yourself with a sudden snore or if your partner nudges you awake to get you to turn over its possible you could be affected by sleep apnea, which is associated with high blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke;and heart failure.;;
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Why Does Sleep Apnea Cause Anxiety
Anxiety occurs due to your bodys response to physiological issues such as stress. During an apnea episode, the brain receives a panic signal, due to which the patient wakes up to revive breathing. As a result, a peaceful nights sleep is hindered, and sleep apnea anxiety attacks are provoked.
Persistent insomnia builds upon exhaustion and eventually makes it extremely difficult for the patients brain to deal with the stress. As the frequency of sleep apnea episodes increases, the risk of strong mood disturbances and irritability increases exponentially.
How Common Are Nighttime Panic Attacks
Theyre pretty common and the majority of people who have been diagnosed with panic disorder have probably experienced nocturnal panic attacks, says Dr. Bea. While anxiety is thought to be a component of sleep panic attacks, other stressors can trigger them.
The absolute cause of panic attacks is pretty unknown at this point, but people who experience them may have histories of panic disorder, other anxiety disorders or behavioral health concerns that might be causing stress in general.
Dr. Bea adds that when people feel panicked, its very common that they might be experiencing situations in their life where they feel relatively trapped.
It could be occupationally, it could be in a relationship or in some other role that theyre playing. Its not uncommon to see correlates of that sort of tension in people who are having nighttime panic attacks. However, these types of panic attacks arent limited to people with a history of anxiety. They also arent rare. About 18% of panic attacks that people experience seem to occur at night.
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Circulatory And Cardiovascular Systems
Sleep apnea has been linked to obesity and high blood pressure, which increase the strain on your heart. If you have apnea, youre more likely to have an abnormal heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation, which could increase your risk of a stroke. Heart failure is also more common in people with sleep apnea.
Anxiety Can Lead To Sleep Debt
One of the Catch-22s of sleep debt anxiety is that its not uncommon for the anxiety caused by sleep debt to lead to further sleep issues. Many people struggle to sleep with anxiety, and unfortunately even when that anxiety is caused by a lack of sleep it can be hard to turn off your mind and get rest. This is entirely normal, and something that you can reduce if you to manage your anxiety.
But keep this in mind when youre going to sleep. If you have anxiety because of sleep debt and it disrupts your sleep causing more sleep debt, youre not alone. This problem affects millions of those with sleep deprivation, and is something you will learn to work on in the future as you start to address both your sleep and your anxiety issues.
When sleep debt causes or contributes to anxiety, the solution is simple: take steps to get more sleep. If youre able to go to sleep earlier then you can ease the problem by simply taking it upon yourself to get longer periods of sleep, and allowing that sleep to refresh your body.
Dont expect this to stop your anxiety right away. Sleep debt issues tend to linger, and you may need to have a good nights sleep for a few weeks in a row if you want to improve. Taking responsibility for your health and aiming to go to bed earlier can have a positive impact on your levels of anxiety.
- Journal Writing
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The Connection Between Tmj And Sleep Apnea
TMJ disorders and sleep apnea are two very separate conditions. When you have sleep apnea, you will experience breathing issues throughout the night as your airway gets blocked.
If sleep apnea continues on a long-term basis without treatment, it can cause a range of complications such as high blood pressure, reflux, increased cortisol levels, digestive issues, and even death.
TMJ disorders are mainly a problem connected with the joint and often cause pain. Oftentimes doctors will treat the two separately.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea Disorder
Sometimes doctors will diagnose sleep apnea based on symptoms. In other cases, you may be referred to a sleep disorder center. Some sleep apnea tests can also be conducted at home. A sleep disorder test includes:
- A;Polysomnogram;: This test is the most common type of sleep apnea test. A PSG will measure factors including eye movement, brain activity, and the amount of oxygen in your blood while you are sleeping. Sometimes, this test can be administered at your home instead of in a sleep center.
- An;Oximetry: This test can be taken at home and involves measuring your oxygen while sleeping. This test is often used in conjunction with other tests.
In addition, your physician may send you to a specialist such as a cardiologist, a neurologist, or an otolaryngologist, which is an ear, nose, and throat doctor, for further testing.
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Is It Possible To Die From Sleep Apnea
Some would argue that you might not actually die in your sleep from apnea. When the body senses its not getting enough oxygen during sleep, it forces an awakening. At this time, the breathing airways open and breathing resumes. Because of this mechanism, you stand no chance of suffocating in your sleep.
But thats not the point. In fact, its like saying people dont die from AIDS. No, they die from the inevitable complications that come from HIV. Its true for people with diabetes, as well. No, diabetes does not kill a person outright; its a long process that results in poor quality of life, disability, pain, dysfunction, and a shortened lifespan.
Semantics dont change the facts:;mortality risks have been shown in clinical research to be higher in those who have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts circadian rhythms, imbalances body and brain chemistry, interrupts cardiac and respiratory function, elevates blood pressure, and speeds up the hearts rate. When allowed to continue, untreated, it absolutely will lead to higher mortality for those who dont treat it.