If you have ever felt yourself drifting off to sleep when watching TV, during a phone call, or amidst an important meeting, there is high likelihood that you are suffering from sleep apnoea. For serious sleep apnea victims, such feelings are day to day reality. Though everyone tend to feel tired occasionally, people with sleep apnea feel sleepy and lethargic every other day. Unfortunately, they tend to remain in the dark with regards to the causes of this condition. In fact, studies suggest that it takes even up to 8 years for a sufferer to be finally diagnosed with this condition.
What is it?
It is a sleeping disorder that occurs when a person experiences one or several pauses in their breathing while asleep. Breathing pauses often last from a few second to several minutes and may occur 30 times or more in a single hour. Typically, normal breathing often follows, sometimes with a chocking sound or a loud snort.
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that will interfere or disrupt your sleep. This is because when your breathing becomes shallow or is paused, you will move out of that interesting deep sleep into light sleep. Sleep apnoea is cited as the leading cause of daytime sleepiness.
Types of Sleep Apnoea
There are two main types of Sleep apnoea:
· Obstructive Sleep Apnoea:
This is the most common type of sleep apnoea. In this type of sleep apnoea, the airway collapses or blocks during sleep resulting into breathing pauses or shallow breathing.
· Central Sleep Apnoea:
This is a less common variant of the disorder. It usually occurs when part of your brain that controls your breathing patterns fails to send the correct signals to your breathing muscles. Consequently, you will not make any efforts to breath for brief seconds or minutes.
Generally, it affects more than 3 in 10 men and roughly 1in 5 women; it is therefore very common than many people might think. So in case you detect any symptoms of sleep apnoea (excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, anxiety or depression, forgetfulness, and change in mood or behaviours among others), it is pertinent to consult your doctor immediately. For more information, please visit Dental On Cue, or your local dentist or medical practitioner.