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Why Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous

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Getting Tested For Sleep Apnoea

Why do we SNORE? Is it Dangerous? SLEEP APNEA explained!

If a GP thinks you might have sleep apnoea, they may refer you to a specialist sleep clinic for tests.

At the clinic, you may be given devices that check things like your breathing and heartbeat while you sleep.

You’ll be asked to wear these overnight so doctors can check for signs of sleep apnoea.

You can usually do this at home, but sometimes you may need to stay in the clinic overnight.

The test can show if you have sleep apnoea and how severe it is. This is based on how often your breathing stops while you sleep .

What Is The Worst Sleep Position For Sleep Apnea

The worst sleep position for Sleep Apnea is sleeping on your back. When you are in this position, it causes the airway to collapse and make breathing difficult. This can also lead to snoring since the tongue falls backward blocking off your throat which makes any sound that may come out of our nose become muffled or silenced completely. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea then its important to be aware of what kind of positions help alleviate these symptoms as well as being mindful about not going into them during those times when we feel exhausted or sleepy.

Try To Use It During The Day

One of the biggest complaints people have about CPAP machines is that they are uncomfortable and hard to sleep with. If you are losing sleep because you just cant get used to it at night, try wearing it occasionally during the day.

Just wear it when you are resting, like watching TV, for a few hours a day.

Over time, it becomes more comfortable and you wont mind it quite as much when you are trying to sleep with it.

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Can Lifestyle Changes Help

Besides seeking professional treatment, there are a few lifestyle changes that can help to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. Excess weight is one of the leading causes of the condition, so losing weight is often an effective step towards resolving the issue. It can also be helpful to avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, sedatives and tranquillizers as these all relax the muscles during sleep.

Smoking cessation is usually recommended as part of sleep apnea treatment. The use of a humidifier and nasal decongestants may also help. Speak to your doctor about the options available to you, and feel free to ask any questions that you might have.

What It Is Its Risk Factors Its Health Impacts And How It Can Be Treated

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    Sleep apnea is a condition marked by abnormal breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea have multiple extended pauses in breath when they sleep. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the bodys supply of oxygen, leading to potentially serious health consequences.

    Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the United States. It can affect children and adults and people of both sexes, although it is more common in men.

    Because of sleep apneas prevalence and potential health impact, it is important for people to be aware of what sleep apnea is and to know its types, symptoms, causes, and treatments.

    Read Also: What Should Your Blood Oxygen Level Be When Sleeping

    Snoring Help You Might Need

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    The most important thing to take away from this article is to not ignore sleep apnea symptoms. You will feel better and live so much healthier if you do something about sleep apnea.

    Who Is At Risk For Sleep Apnea

    Anyone, regardless of size, shape, or sex can experience sleep apnea. Although men, 40 years and older, are more likely to experience sleep apnea compared to women, that does not mean women are immune to the disorder and should not be aware of the symptoms. Other reasons you could be at risk for sleep apnea include:

    • Having large tonsils
    • Having a large neck size
    • A family history of sleep apnea
    • Women who are post-menopausal
    • Suffer from nasal obstruction due to allergies, sinus issues, and a deviated septum
    • Carrying excess weight
    • Other medical conditions.

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    Living With Sleep Apnea

    Learn about the importance of sleep and the different types of sleep apneas. Familiarize yourself with diagnosis, testing, treatment options, and how to cope with the life-long effects of sleep apnea. You can help reduce the effects of sleep apnea by making healthy choices like getting restorative sleep, eating right and staying active. Its also important to follow recommended screening guidelines, which can help detect certain sleep apnea early on.

    More Sleep Apnea Symptoms

    Is Snoring Dangerous? | Sleep Apnea | When should you be Tested?

    Now that I’ve given you four of the main sleep apnea symptoms to look for, let me close this article by giving you the full list of all the symptoms sleep apnea is associated with:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Snoring, especially loud snoring, with periods of pauses and silence.
  • High blood pressure
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low sex drive
  • The symptoms sleep apnea produces are some of the most undiagnosed conditions in medicine and may often go undetected by your local doctor. So by you knowing what signs to look for, you are better equipped to do something about this serious sleep disorder.

    And if you or someone you love has these sleep apnea symptoms, you probably want to know “What is sleep apnea anyway?” See my article on that in the more helpful articles section below.

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    Sleep Apnea Cardiovascular Risk And Metabolism

    Several studies have shown an association between sleep apnea and problems like type 2 diabetes , strokes , heart attacks and even a shortened lifespan, says Jun. Why this connection? For one thing, obesity is common in sleep apnea patients, and obesity greatly increases risks of diabetes, stroke and heart attack, he says. In most cases, obesity is the main culprit behind both conditions, Jun explains.

    Still, its important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea is obese. Furthermore, evidence suggests an independent link between sleep apnea and diabetes. Our lab and others have shown that sleep apnea is associated with higher risks of diabetes, independent of obesity, and that sleep apnea can increase blood sugar levels, says Jun.

    For people who are overweight or obese, weight loss is key for treating or avoiding sleep apnea. People who accumulate fat in the neck, tongue and upper belly are especially vulnerable to getting sleep apnea. This weight reduces the diameter of the throat and pushes against the lungs, contributing to airway collapse during sleep.

    Women in particular should be careful as they age. While premenopausal women tend to put on weight in the hips and in the lower body instead of the belly, this shifts with time. Weight begins to accumulate in traditionally male areas like the tummy, and this leads to a greater chance of sleep apnea.

    Accepting New Patients Near Chicago Il Nationwide & Worldwide

    The dangers of sleep apnea and heavy snoring are often overlooked and left untreated. Our dentists educate patients on the serious health risks that accompany obstructive sleep apnea.

    Patients with apnea may awaken from 5 to more than 10 times per hour and not be aware of waking, but suffer the effects.

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    The Dangers Of Uncontrolled Sleep Apnea

    Youve probably heard that regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet arethe most important things you can do for your cardiovascular health. As itturns out, though, the quality of sleep you receive is also critical toyour hearts wellbeing.

    In particular, undiagnosed sleep apnea is directly tied to an increased risk in cardiovascular and metabolic health. The scariest part? You might not even know you have this very common problem.

    Sleep apnea happens when upper airway muscles relax during sleep and pinch off the airway, which prevents you from getting enough air. Your breathing may pause for 10 seconds or more at a time, until your reflexes kick in and you start breathing again, explains Jonathan Jun, M.D. , a pulmonary and sleep medicine specialist at the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center.

    Sleep apnea occurs in about 3 percent of normal weight individuals but affects over 20 percent of obese people, Jun says. In general, sleep apnea affects men more than women. However, sleep apnea rates increase sharply in women after menopause. Sleep apnea is often linked to heart disease and metabolic issues like diabetes.

    Bad Sleep Makes You Fat And Vice Versa

    Understanding Mild Sleep Apnea

    Almost half of the obese adults in the United States have OSA. Adults and kids who have OSA are also more likely to be overweight or obese.

    If you have sleep apnea and gain more weight, you can worsen your OSA. In fact, if you add just 10% of fat to your total body weight, youre six times more likely to develop a more serious case of sleep apnea. The good news is that if you lose that extra 10%, your OSA may improve by 20%.

    Lack of sleep also affects your hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin. So, if you have OSA or CSA, your body may feel hungry all of the time, and you might not get the signal that youre full after youve eaten.

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    Dont Be Afraid To Adjust It

    You dont need to make the CPAP machine fit as soon as it arrives.

    While you will also want it custom-made to fit you, it might still need some adjustments. This is not uncommon, and the more you adjust it, the better it will fit.

    When it fits you right, you will notice that you are much more comfortable while wearing it and can sleep without it bothering you too much.

    Why Sleep Apnea Is Dangerous

    Sleep apnea puts a lot of stress on your body, mainly your heart. Your blood oxygen levels start to drop because you stop breathing so much. This results in high blood pressure and increases your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

    If you already have heart problems, sleep apnea can make your condition much worse. If an already strained heart experiences multiple episodes of low blood oxygen, it can lead to heart arrhythmias.

    Other complications include:

    • Liver problems
    • Daytime fatigue

    Severe daytime sleepiness can put other peoples health at risk too. Excessive sleepiness is a leading cause of deadly car accidents. About 800-900 deaths occur from drowsy driving each year.

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    What Can You Do

    Many people with sleep apnea are overweight or obese, so losing weight will improve your overall health. Quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and lowering your alcohol consumption will also help. We also recommend avoiding sedatives and sleeping pills, and trying a new sleep position to breathe better.

    If you think you have sleep apnea, dont let it go untreated. Make an appointment to see Dr. Kumra by using our convenient online booking tool or by calling 646-859-6136 today.

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    What Is Sleep Apnea

    Is sleep apnea dangerous?

    Sleep apnea happens when the upper airway muscles relax during sleep and pinch-off that airway. This prevents you from getting enough air. Your breathing may pause for 10 seconds or more at a time, until your reflexes kick in and you start breathing again.

    There are 3 main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome.

    • Obstructive sleep apnea the most common form of sleep apnea, this occurs when throat muscles relax intermittently disrupting airflow.
    • Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
    • Complex sleep apnea syndrome also known as treatment emergent central sleep, which occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

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    Snoring: A Big Red Flag

    See the snoring help section below on how to get rid of snoring.

    Another one of the major characteristics people typically have is high decibel, vacuum-cleaner-noise-levelsnoring.Does your partner snore like a leaf blower and rattle the walls with their snoring? Is their snoring intermittent or cyclic , with frequent periods of silence?

    Or are you a snorer whose bed partner has had to escape to another part of the house in order to get a good night’s sleep…because you snore like a freight train?

    If so, consider these as important warning signs that something is not right. Apnea is associated with snoring and snoring is a sign of impaired breathing. However, just because someone snores does not mean they have this disorder. But if the snoring is really loud, beware!

    Especially beware if you have two of the other killer sleep apnea symptoms sufferers usually have:

    Sleep Apnoea Can Cause Other Problems

    Without treatment, sleep apnoea can lead to:

    • a higher chance of having a stroke
    • depression or changes in your mood
    • a higher chance of having a serious accident caused by tiredness, such as a car accident
    • difficulty concentrating at work or school

    Sleep apnoea can also be difficult for your partner and put a strain on your relationship with them.

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    How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Anesthesia

    Anesthesia, especially general anesthesia, can be dangerous for people with obstructive sleep apnea. The condition makes anesthesia riskier because it slows down breathing and can make you more sensitive to its effects. Sleep apnea also can make it more difficult to regain consciousness and take a breath after surgery.

    The condition makes anesthesia riskier because it slows down breathing and can make you more sensitive to its effects.

    What Happens When You Stop Breathing

    Chronic Nasal Congestion

    When you stop breathing, your heart rate also tends to drop the longer your body is deprived of oxygen. Then, your involuntary reflexes cause you to startle awake at the end of that period of not breathing. When this occurs, your heart rate tends to accelerate quickly and your blood pressure rises.

    These are changes that take place acutely when you stop breathing. However, your body starts to experience chronic effects if you experience frequent apnea. Data suggests increased risk, particularly when you stop breathing roughly 30 times or more per hour. But there is likely a risk at even lower frequency rates.

    For example, your blood pressure tends to go up, your heart walls thicken due to increased workload and the structure of your heart changes. It tends to become stiffer and less flexible because there are more fibrous cells growing in between the muscle cells.

    All of those things increase the risk that you can have either atrial or ventricular arrhythmias. They also tend to reduce the function of the heart so that its less efficient at pumping blood.

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    Does Sleep Apnea Qualify As A Disability

    According to the Nolo legal network, the Social Security Administration doesnt have a disability listing for sleep apnea. It does, however, have listings for breathing disorders, heart problems, and mental deficits that might be attributed to sleep apnea.

    If you dont qualify for the conditions listed, you may still be able to receive benefits through a Residual Functional Capacity form. Both your doctor and a claims examiner from Disability Determination Services will fill out an RFC form to determine whether youre able to work due to:

    • your sleep apnea

    Longing For More Sleep

    There is a common misconception that there is an exact amount of sleep that the body requires. The necessary hours of sleep can vary, as some people can require as little as five hours or as much as nine hours to function optimally. In addition, too little or too much sleep can cause problems. The classic example is someone who sleeps in on the weekends. Although one may think getting more sleep than usual would leave a person feeling well rested, sleeping an extra 2 to 3 hours can actually cause the person to feel groggy and less rested. For my migraine patients, both under- and oversleeping can serve as triggers for more migraines. Naps can also be detrimental to sleep hygiene, as they often lead to poor sleep that evening.

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    Degrees Of Severity Of Sleep Apnoea

    The full name for this condition is obstructive sleep apnoea. Another rare form of breathing disturbance during sleep is called central sleep apnoea. It is caused by a disruption to the mechanisms that control the rate and depth of breathing. The severity of sleep apnoea depends on how often the breathing is interrupted. As a guide:

    • normal sleep fewer than five interruptions per hour
    • mild sleep apnoea between 5 and 15 interruptions per hour
    • moderate sleep apnoea between 15 and 30 interruptions per hour
    • severe sleep apnoea more than 30 interruptions per hour.

    How Does Sleep Apnea Severity Vary

    Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

    The severity of your condition can be assessed by counting how many times you experience low-oxygen events. This helps to generate an AHI score, the apnea-hypopnea index. This measures the apnea or hypopnea episodes per hour of sleep:

    • Apnea episode complete airflow blockage for at least ten seconds
    • Hypopnea episode at least 50% reduction in airflow for at least ten seconds

    Your AHI score relates to the severity of sleep apnea:

    • 0-5 events per hour normal
    • 5-15 events per hour mild sleep apnea
    • 15-30 events per hour moderate sleep apnea
    • 30+ events per hour severe sleep apnea

    Your score is very important when deciding on the best way to treat your sleep apnea. Mild to moderate cases can be addressed with normal snoring reduction techniques and consumer remedies. If you have a severe case, continuous positive airway pressure devices are the most effective form of treatment.

    Read Also: Hypoxia While Sleeping

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