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What Causes Sleep Apnea Events

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Tips To Eliminate Several Causes Of Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Cardiovascular Events

Smoking is a common factor that can decrease the amount of oxygen in your blood and reduces the upper airway tone. It’s wise to stop smoking to help improving OSA.

Have you tried positional therapy for sleep apnea? This can really helpful for patients with mild or moderate sleep apnea.

Avoid narcotics in the evening.

Did you know that weight loss is one of the most effective treatment for patients with obesity and OSA?

Do you like to drink alcohol in the week as well as at the weekend? You should avoid alcohol, because it can increase the number of apnea events.

Practicing sleep apnea exercises daily will boost your health, improving your physical and mental condition.

Shift work can aggravate your sleep apnea symptoms. If you are in this situation, you should definitely change your schedule to a normal one, or to change your job to a daily program schedule.

What Degrees Of Severity Occur With Osa

The Apnea Hypopnea Index is the number of apnea or hypopnea episodes recorded during the study per hour of sleep. The AHI and oxygen desaturation levels are used to indicate the severity of OSA. The results of AHI are usually expressed as the number of events per hour and based on the AHI are classified as follows:

None/Minimal: AHI

Moderate: AHI 15, but

Severe: AHI 30 per hour

This means that a person suffering from severe OSA with as many 50-60 events can be woken from sleep up to every minute during the night.

What Exactly Is Sleep Transition Apnea

Transitional SA also goes by the names sleep-onset apnea or sleep-onset central apnea.

Transitional sleep apnea occurs during the transition from wakefulness to sleep, says Daniel Rifkin, MD, a sleep medicine expert at the Sleep Medicine Centers of Western New York.

The most common form is a type of central sleep apnea due to the regulation of breathing by different mechanisms.

During wakefulness, behavioral along with chemical mechanisms determine our rate of breathing.

During our initial stages of sleep, our breathing rate, also known as our respiratory rate, is almost solely tied to the chemical makeup in our blood.

Specifically, the amount of carbon dioxide circulating in your blood might be too low, so once you fall asleep, your breathing slows down or stops to equilibrate your carbon dioxide levels.

Eventually the brain detects the building levels of CO2, during which there has not been a breath, and triggers wakefulness.

This is what wakes up the individual. And because breathing has stopped, the person experiences any number of sensations: choking, gasping, shortness of breath, having held ones breath, etc.

If they panic, it may be several breaths before normalcy is restored. The individual may even make gasping noises in this panic.

If they dont panic, one breath will be all thats necessary to feel normal and fall back asleep again.

Though a person may have both OSA and transitional SA, they operate independent of each other.

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Screening For Sleep Apnea

To screen for sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, your doctor may ask you about common signs and symptoms of this condition, such as how sleepy you feel during the day or when driving, and whether you or your partner has noticed that you snore, stop breathing, or gasp during your sleep. Your doctor may ask questions to assess your risk for developing this condition and take your physical measurements. Your doctor will also want to see whether you have any complications of undiagnosed sleep apnea, such as high blood pressure that is difficult to control. If the screening suggests a sleep breathing disorder, you may get a referral to a sleep specialist to help confirm a diagnosis.

Know Your Sleep Apnea Risk Level

Important Facts About Sleep Apnea And Heart Health

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects more than 30 million Americans who suffer from lack of restorative sleep.

The majority are undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.

Typical symptoms include heavy snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, difficulty with concentration or memory, among many others.

Untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences.

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What Are The Signs Of Sleep Apnea

There are two kinds of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when air cant flow into or out of the nose or mouth, although youre trying to breathe. Central sleep apnea happens when the brain fails to send the right signals to your muscles to make you start breathing.

Sleep apnea may be noticed more by the bed partner than by the sleeper, says Jun. Your bed partner might notice that your breathing pauses, or they may complain of your loud snoring.

That said, snoring itselfthough annoyingisnt the same as sleep apnea. Snoring is just the vibration sound created by airway resistance. You can snore loudly and not have sleep apnea, and you may even have sleep apnea without much snoring.

People with sleep apnea might also suffer from unexplained fatigue and mood swings, because their breathing interruptions continually wake them and prevent them from settling into a deep, nourishing sleep.

The consequences can be significant, Jun says. We’re talking about car accidents in the daytime, lost productivity at work, mood swings, waking up feeling groggy and falling asleep in class.

Other sufferers might wake up with a dry mouth, since sleep apnea tends to make you breathe with an open mouth, drying out your saliva. Some awaken with a headache, which may be caused by low oxygen or high carbon dioxide levels during sleep.

How is Weight Control Linked to Sleep Apnea?

What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnoea

The person themselves may not be aware of their breathing being affected during sleep. However, thisis often identified by a sleeping partner, or if they experience symptoms in the daytime.Typical symptoms during sleep include:

  • repeatedly waking up abruptly
  • breathing stops during sleep, and starts again, often with a gasp
  • snoring
  • having low mood and being irritable
  • waking up with a headache
  • finding it hard to concentrate and
  • frequently falling asleep during waking hours .

The condition can also contribute to problems with relationships due to partners having constantlydisturbed sleep.

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Obstructive Vs Central Sleep Apnea: Key Differences And Treatment Options

    Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects thousands of individuals. With this condition, you have an interruption in your breathing while sleeping that occurs through repetitive pauses, referred to as apneic events. There are several types of sleep apnea, but two prominent types include obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

    As a sleep technologist, its important for you to know the key differences between central and obstructive apnea so you know how to best treat your patients who may have one or the other disorder.

    What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea In Children

    What Causes Sleep Apnea and How Do You Treat It?

    There are several causes of obstructive sleep apnea in children:

    • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids: A widely recognized risk factor for childhood OSA is enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Tonsils and adenoids are glands located at the back of the throat and are part of the immune system. The tonsils and adenoids may be enlarged due to genetics, frequent infections, or inflammation. When enlarged, these glands constrict the airway, making breathing during sleep more difficult.
    • Childhood obesity: OSA in children is also frequently caused by obesity, which also constricts the airway. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs in 60% of obese children.
    • Other risk factors: Other causes of OSA include having a small jaw or an overbite, the use of sedatives or opioids, and tongue and throat muscle weakness due to conditions like Down syndrome or cerebral palsy. Having nasal allergies, being around adults who smoke, and having a family history of obstructive sleep apnea are also found to be risk factors for childhood OSA.

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    Sleep And Blood Pressure

    During normal, healthy sleep, blood pressure drops by around 10-20%. This is known as nocturnal dipping, and research highlights its role in cardiovascular health.

    Poor sleep, whether from a lack of sleep or sleep disruptions, is associated with non-dipping, meaning that a persons blood pressure doesnt go down at night. Studies have found that elevated nighttime blood pressure is tied to overall hypertension .

    In fact, nocturnal blood pressure has been found to be even more predictive of heart problems than high blood pressure during the day. Non-dipping has been tied to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Its also been linked to kidney problems and reduced blood flow to the brain.

    Raised daytime blood pressure has been identified as a consequence of sleep deprivation in multiple studies, but it doesnt affect all people equally. The link between lack of sleep and high blood pressure is highest in middle-aged adults. People who work long hours in high-stress jobs and people with other risk factors for hypertension are more likely to have raised blood pressure after chronic poor sleep.

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    Clinical Aspects: Effects Of Treatment

    From OSA to HF

    The main question to address in this section is whether treatment of OSA is associated with ameliorated cardiac function and heart failure prognosis on top of the traditional treatment for heart failure.

    Continuous positive airway pressure

    From HF to OSA

    The clinical question to be answered in this section is whether treatment of heart failure ameliorates OSA.

    Drugs for heart failure

    Cardiac rehabilitation

    Exercise rehabilitation programmes represent beneficial therapeutic measures to increase physical performance in patients with heart failure. A 4-month rehabilitation programme has been shown, for instance, to both improve OSA and significantly decrease muscle sympathetic nerve activity .

    Atrial overdrive pacing

    Resynchronisation therapy

    From CSA to HF

    The main question of the present section is whether treating CSA is associated with better prognosis in heart failure patients.

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    What Are The Most Effective Treatments

    It is easy to get the treatment you need to prevent or manage sleep apnea and heart disease in your life. Some self-help techniques involve using a snoring mouthpiece such as zQuiet or Zyppah, avoiding caffeine, quitting smoking, and maintaining a regular sleep schedule.

    Medical techniques include more evasive procedures such as medication and surgery. Talk to your healthcare provider for more personalized information on treatment options.

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    Physiological Mechanisms Underlying Epidemiologic Risk Factors

    What is Sleep Apnea? â C& M Medical Supply

    The major risk factors for OSA include aging, male sex, and obesity although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Given the pathophysiological mechanisms that have been discussed, these risk factors are likely to be explained by increased anatomic compromise, increased pharyngeal dilator muscle dysfunction, lowered arousal threshold, increased ventilatory control instability, and/or reduced lung volume tethering.

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    What Causes Sleep Apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses during sleep. Central sleep apnea is usually observed in patients with central nervous system dysfunction, such as following a stroke or in patients with neuromuscular diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . It is also common in patients with heart failure and other forms of heart, kidney or lung disease.

    Why Don’t I Remember Waking Up During An Event

    During a sleep apnea event, your body might “wake up” from the deep levels of sleep required to feel rested, but doesn’t wake you up to a conscious level typically.

    Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know the difference between apnea vs hypopnea. If you have any questions about some of the terminology, be sure to leave a comment.

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    Can Sleep Apnea Cause An Enlarged Heart

    Yes, with each apnea event your body tells your heart to beat faster and your blood pressure to go up. Severe obstructive sleep apnea can also cause stress on your heart causing the heart to get enlarged. An enlarged heart can cause the heart to get less oxygen and work less efficiently.

    The National Institute for Health examined the relationship between heart disease and sleep apnea. Scientists reported data that suggests that sleep apnea may be a cause of heart disease.

    • 10 percent of men and 5 percent of women are estimated to have sleep apnea.
    • Congestive heart failure affects 2.5 million Americans, about 10% of the population.
    • In obstructive sleep apnea, often marked by snoring, the right side of the heart may suffer damage because it has to pump harder to support the extra effort of the lungs trying to overcome the obstruction of the airway. When patients with congestive heart failure were tested in a sleep laboratory, almost fifty percent had severe apnea which had not been previously diagnosed.
    • Several obese patients with both obstructive sleep apnea and heart failure were treated for sleep apnea. They showed great improvement with increased energy and lessened fatigue, lower blood pressure, and a more positive outlook as a result of this treatment.
    • People who snore heavily and have pauses in breathing may be at risk for heart disease.
    • Central apnea may cause high blood pressure, surges of adrenaline, and irregular heartbeats.

    Changes In Pressure Within The Chest


    When a person with obstructive sleep apnea attempts to breathe, they inhale against a narrowed or closed upper airway. These unsuccessful, forced inhalations can cause substantial changes in pressure within the chest cavity. Over time, these repetitive changes in intrathoracic pressure can damage the heart. Intrathoracic pressure changes can lead to atrial fibrillation , problems with blood flow to the heart, and even heart failure.

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    Sleep Problems Lead To Heart Failure

    OSA is more common among people who are overweight, but anyone can get it. The tissue in the back of your throat relaxes and blocks your airway while you sleep. You stop breathing, so your brain signals your throat muscles to contract, which opens up your airway again. This can happen dozens or even hundreds of times a night.

    Your brain also releases stress hormones during these episodes. They can raise your heart rate and your blood pressure which raises your chance of developing heart failure or making it worse.

    Researchers have also found a strong link between trouble falling or staying asleep and the likelihood of heart failure. One reason may be that insomnia triggers the bodys stress response, which could weaken your heart over time.

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    What Causes The Airway To Close During Sleep

    The airway at the throat is composed of walls of soft tissue which can collapse due to extra tissue in the back of the airway, such as large tonsils, a decrease in the tone of the muscles that hold the airway open, or due to the tongue falling back and closing off the airway. As we get older our muscles lose tone and when we are relaxed often after a consuming alcoholic drinks the events can be increased.

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    What Is The Treatment For Central Sleep Apnea

    The key to treating central sleep apnea is addressing any underlying health issues that are causing the condition. The type of treatment for central sleep apnea depends on the category and subtype of central sleep apnea. For example, steps may be taken to mitigate congestive heart failure. Those on opioids or other respiratory-depression medications may gradually reduce and taper off the medications. If at high altitude, the individual can trek back to sea level. In many cases, focusing on the coexisting problem can relieve or eliminate abnormal breathing during sleep.

    For many patients with central sleep apnea, the use of CPAP or BiPAP machines can decrease cessations in respiration. Supplemental oxygen may be used in a similar way.

    In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration approved an implantable device that stimulates breathing-related muscles as a treatment for CSA. This treatment has shown promise in improving breathing and sleep quality in some research studies.

    Depending on a persons situation, a combination of treatments may be used in order to best address their symptoms. A healthcare provider with a specialty in sleep medicine would be best to review the benefits and side effects of various treatment options for central sleep apnea.

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    What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea And What Causes It

    Can Sleep Apnea Cause Rapid Heart Rate

    In obstructive sleep apnea , apneas have four components.

  • First, the airway collapses or becomes obstructed.
  • Second, an effort is made to take a breath, but it is unsuccessful.
  • Third, the oxygen level in the blood drops as a result of unsuccessful breathing.
  • Finally, when the amount of oxygen reaching the brain decreases, the brain signals the body to wake up and take a breath.
  • First, it is necessary to describe a “normal breath.” A normal breath of air passes through the nasal passages, behind the soft palate and uvula , then past the tongue base, through the throat muscles, and between the vocal cords into the lungs. An obstruction to the flow of air at any of these levels may lead to apnea. The following are some examples:

    • airflow can become diminished if a person has a deviated septum . A septum can be deviated to one or both sides narrowing the air passages
    • there are filters in the nose called turbinates that can obstruct airflow when they become swollen
    • if the palate and uvula are long or floppy, they can fall backwards and close the area through which air flows
    • the back of the tongue can also fall backwards and obstruct breathing especially when individuals lay flat on their backs or
    • the side walls of the throat can fall together to narrow or close the airway.

    To break it down even further:

      Sleep apnea symptoms at night time include:

      • Snoring, usually loud and bothersome to others
      • Gasping for air, witnessed apneas, or choking sensation
      • Insomnia
      • Restless sleep

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