What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Shallow breathing or pause of breathing briefly during sleep is a condition known as sleep apnea. Partial or complete blockage in the upper airway that makes breathing difficult during sleep occurs in those with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Usually the person affected with sleep apnea is not aware of the condition he/she is suffering from.
Normal breathing vs. Sleep Apnea
- While we sleep, we breathe in air by the contraction and downward movement of the diaphragm which increases the room in the chest cavity (the area into which the lungs expand).
- With the expansion of the lungs the air gushes in through the nose or mouth and travels down the windpipe into the lungs.
- This is where oxygen is absorbed by the air sacs.
- After the absorption of oxygen, the diaphragm expands by an upward movement in the chest cavity to resume its relaxed position.
- The CO2 rich air is the forced out of the nose or mouth due to this expansion of diaphragm.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea:
The airway through the windpipe gets partially or completely blocked that obstructs breathing for a while during sleep and the diaphragm pushes itself harder to contract and allow the air to enter through the nose. The obstructed airway opens with a loud gasp or body jolt which is the body’s own method of pulling air back into the lungs.
According to a Philips Healthcare survey
- 58% of people think their work gets hampered due to disrupted sleep
- 11% falls asleep at workplace because of poor sleep at night
- 72% of Indians wake up more than once at night
- 33% of Indians snore during their sleep and believe it is normal to snore
- 14% people snore louder than they can speak
- Only 2% people talk about their snoring with their physician
It is very easy to miss the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Most people tend to ignore them as common traits and often do not recognize the severity of it.
- Loud snoring
- Weariness or sleepiness during daytime or when at work
- Irritable behaviour
- Lack of concentration
- Insomnia (being unable to sleep)
- Sore throat or thirstiness
- Repeated feeling of choking
- Interrupted sleep or disturbances in sleep
What are the causes of OSA?
Sleep apnea may be caused as a result of various underlying factors such as:
- Thicker neck circumference
- Enlarged tonsils
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Overdose of certain sedatives
Obstructive sleep apnea can cause severe health risks, including (but not limited to):
Ignoring sleep apnea can cause serious life risks. It is best to speak to a sleep expert and find out the best solution for you. It is best to find a treatment for sleep apnea before the condition escalates.
- Heart attacks
- 4. Accidents (caused by suddenly falling asleep during an activity)
What is CPAP Therapy?
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is a machine that ensures effective breathing by maintaining a continuous supply of airway pressure to the windpipe to keep it open and avoid sudden blockage that causes disrupted sleep. CPAP therapy can be the most effective non invasive treatment for sleep apnea and can help to sleep better.
Test yourself today for sleep apnea or talk to our sleep experts on +91 33 40277777.