Sleep Apnea 101

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Snore, snore and more snore—that’s what we get from people with sleep apnea. However, though people with sleep apnea may sound so annoying and bothersome especially at night, we have to know that sleep apnea is not something we must blame these people for. Sleep apnea is something which may present with a lot of complications. But, really, what is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is the occurrence of a pause from a person’s normal pattern of breathing. This cessation of breathing may last from a few seconds up to several minutes. There are many causes of sleep apnea—however, in knowing what is sleep apnea, we have to understand that there are three types of sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea—Types of the Disorder

The first and most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive sleep apnea. This type counts for about 85% of all people suffering from this condition. Obstruction is due to relaxation of the throat muscles and structures when we sleep.

Another form of sleep apnea is what we call Central Sleep Apnea. Central sleep apnea has something to do with how our brain sends signals to the muscles responsible for respiration. When the signal gets a bit “choppy”, respiration, especially when we are asleep will not function well and lead to sleep apnea. However, this is the least common form of sleep apnea accounting for less than 1% of the cases.

Lastly, we have what we call complex sleep apnea—this is a combination of both the obstructive and central forms of sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea—Common Causes of the Condition

As mentioned earlier on, obstructive sleep apnea occurs due to physical and mechanical obstructions in our throat. When we say mechanical obstructions, we refer to the muscles in the throat and the structures in the throat which may stand in the way when air passes through.

Mechanical obstruction may result from relaxation of the throat muscles. It can also be due to the size of the jaw and the throat wherein air passes through. Nasal septum deviation is also a common cause which may lead to sleep apnea.

Second common cause is obesity. With the enlargement of one’s body and accumulation of fats in the throat area, these may fall back and slide down the airways. Moreover, taking drugs and alcohol containing beverages may lead to snoring occurrences. These chemicals may lead to further relaxation of our body and consequently, muscles may slack off and cause further obstruction.

Sleep apnea only points to one certain solution—lifestyle changes. When we correct what needs to be corrected in one’s lifestyle, i.e. diet, vices, exercises, et cetera, many of the causes of sleep apnea and snoring can be corrected. When a person experiences a life without sleep apnea and snoring, a more comfortable rest and sleep experience may happen. Fight sleep apnea as soon as possible—you may think sleep apnea may be a condition one will most likely experience for the rest of his life… but that is definitely wrong. Sleep apnea is treatable; all we need is to be knowledgeable about it.

 

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  1. One of the worst things for a relationship is one person blaming the other for snoring. Snoring, if its caused by sleep apnea and not, say, excessive drinking before bed, is NOT the fault of the snorer. Yes, its hard to deal with and yes its annoying for the other person – but it can’t be helped so if your relationship is to last, find a solution.
    You can get ear plugs, roll the snorer on their side or find out the underlying causes of the apnea in the first place.
    At http://InstantlyFallAsleep.com you can sign up for our free newsletter tips and tricks. We find that many people who snore, don’t have the more serious problems associated with sleep apnea, they just need to know what they’re doing that’s causing the snoring.

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