There are numerous types of sleep apnea; a condition that is characterized by stopped breathing while sleeping. The most common type under this classification is obtrusive sleep apnea. The throat muscles block the airway which as a result interferes with normal breathing.
There are certain groups of people at higher risk of suffering from the condition. Treatment involves surgical procedures or the use of a mouthpiece to keep the airway open while the patient is asleep.
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What Are the Symptoms?
The symptoms that you ought to be looking out for include:
- Chest pain
- Mood swings
- Breath shortness
When these symptoms become severe, seek medical assistance immediately. In addition, you should also observe the patient for any other signs of sleep deprivation. A popular misconception associates snoring to obtrusive sleep apnea but this is not always the case. This is why professional advice is mandatory.
What Are the Causes?
Normal breathing largely depends on open airways. People suffering from this condition can not enjoy sleep because the throat muscles cause blockage. This in effect depletes the oxygen content in the blood.
The brain will lack adequate oxygen which will arouse the patient from sleep. However, many of those suffering from this condition do not realize the awakening since they fall back to sleep within a few seconds. Gasping is common when the person is trying to restore normal breathing during the awakening. The pattern reoccurs every hour in most cases.
What Are the Risk Factors?
Any person is at risk of suffering from this condition. Nevertheless, obtrusive sleep apnea is more likely to affect the following groups:
Overweight People– Statistics reveals that more than 50% of people suffering from this type of sleep apnea are overweight. This is owing to the fact that excess fat obstructs proper flow of air. It has also been noted that people with larger waists are more susceptible to it.
People With Large Necks– Doctors verify that the neck size of a person can increase the risk by a substantial percentage. Thick necks are common amongst overweight people and are linked to restricted airflow.
Hypertension Patients– Obtrusive sleep apnea is quite frequent in people suffering from hypertension, which is also referred to as high blood pressure.
Narrowed Airway– It’s possible for a thin person to have a narrow airway. The characteristic may be hereditary or medical. People with swollen tonsils can easily be affected by this type of sleep apnea.
Nasal Congestion– If this condition is chronic; the likely occurrence of sleep apnea becomes relatively high. Nasal congestion worsens at night and as a result causes constricted air flow.
Diabetics– People suffering from diabetes are at higher risk of contracting this ailment.
Alcohol Drinkers– Those who partake in alcoholic drinks aggravate this condition. It’s advisable to reduce the level of intoxication first before you sleep when you’re drunk.
Black Males– According to research, males are affected by obtrusive sleep apnea more than females. Furthermore, being a black male puts you at even higher risk.