What is Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is classified as prolonged periods of a cease in the breathing during sleep. People who suffer from sleep apnea may stop breathing as many as thirty times in an hour and these pauses may last from ten seconds to several minutes. Sleep Apnea is a serious condition and many people who have it have yet to be diagnosed.
It has been estimated that 18 million Americans have the sleeping disorder known as apnea and 10 million of those people may not even be aware of it. It is important to diagnose this disease because people suffering from it are 300% greater chance of being involved in a traffic collision.
There are three types of sleep apnea, central, obstructive and complex which a combination is of obstructive and central. Regardless of which type of sleep apnea a person may have, they are subject to fatigue during the day because of the lack of quality sleep the receive at night.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
This form of the disease is less common than obstructive sleep apnea. It’s caused by a problem with the brain’s ability to communicate with the respiratory system. Less than 1% of sleep apnea patients have CSA alone and 15% have the complex version.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
This is the main type of apnea, composing 84% of cases. The cause is the closing off of the upper airway which may cause loud snoring. The most common side effect is unexplained fatigue throughout the day.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Before, it was nearly impossible for people who sleep alone to diagnose sleep apnea. Now the digital revolution has changed that with the AppNea App by Zeeba Sleep Center. This app has a questionnaire to help to diagnose sleep apnea and even has the option to record one’s sleeping and analyze the results. The app is free for Apple and Android devices via their respective online stores. It is important to treat sleep apnea because the fatigued feeling can cause a person to nod off which is why he or she is so much more likely to be involved in an accident.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Weight loss is proven to reduce sleep apnea in overweight patients. There is little that surgery and medications can due to treat sleep apnea. There are a few available products which help to prevent OSA by keeping the airways from closing at night. One such method is positive airway pressure which is delivered through a mask which is worn at night. The air pressure is enough to keep the airways from closing and causing the periods of not breathing. A mandibular splint may also prevent sleep apnea by moving the lower jaw forward to prevent the airways from closing off at night.