Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body (sequelae). In sleep apnea, your breathing stops or gets very shallow while you are sleeping. Each pause in breathing typically lasts 10 to 20 seconds or more. These pauses can occur 20 to 30 times or more an hour. Symptoms may be present for years, even decades without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance. In adults, the most typical individual with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is obese, with particular heaviness at the face and neck. The hallmark symptom of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in adults is excessive daytime sleepiness. Typically, an adult or adolescent with severe long-standing obstructive sleep apnea will fall asleep for very brief periods in the course of usual daytime activities if given any opportunity to sit or rest. Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder that can be very serious. There are two distinct forms of sleep apnea: Central and Obstructive. Sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common category of sleep-disordered breathing. The prevalence of OSA among the adult population in western Europe and North America. The hallmark symptom of the disorder is excessive daytime sleepiness. Additional symptoms of sleep apnea include restless sleep, loud snoring (with periods of silence followed by gasps), falling asleep during the day, morning headaches, trouble concentrating, irritability, forgetfulness, mood or behavior changes, anxiety, and depression. Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA). A more invasive surgery usually only tried in difficult cases where other surgeries have not relieved the patient’s OSA. Apneas are usually measured during sleep (preferably in all stages of sleep) over a two-hour period.
Weight reduction and avoiding alcohol and sedatives may help some individuals. Surgery to remove excess tissue at the back of the throat , to remove enlarged tonsils or adenoids ,or to create an opening in the trachea to bypass the obstructed airway during sleep. Sleep Apnea in children where removing the tonsils or adenoids does not take care of the problem is usually treated with a C-PAP (continous positive airway pressure) or Bi-Level positive airway pressure. C-PAP is a machine that blows air into your nose via a nose mask, keeping the airway open and unobstructed. Bi-Level has an inspiratory pressure that is higher than the expiratory pressure. Some children have facial deformities that may cause the sleep apnea. Maxillomandibular advancement. In this procedure, the upper and lower part of your jaw is moved forward from the remainder of your face bones. Tracheostomy is used in persons with severe, life- threatening sleep apnea. Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is done to eliminate snoring but has not been shown to be effective in treating sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Tips
1. Behavioral Therapy-Is usually all that is needed for a mild case. It changes the person behavior towards the use of alcohol, tobacco which affects the airway.
2. Physical or Mechanical Therapy- The therapy provides air pressure to keep the airway from narrowing.
3. Surgery is considered only when other alternative therapy failed or if the patient volunteered to.
4. Avoid or at least limit alcohol intake.
5. Avoid or limit the use of tranquilizers, sleeping pills.
6. Avoid sleeping on your back.
7. Oxygen and medications may have adjunctive roles in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in some patients.
8. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, which removes excess tissue in the throat to make the airway wider.
9. Tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, which removes the tonsils and/or the adenoids.
10. Tracheostomy, which creates a hole in the windpipe (trachea). A tube is then put in the hole to bring air in.