General information you need to know about sleep apnea
Sleep apnea, to put it simply, is the condition wherein there is a reduction or pause in breathing when a person is asleep. This condition is quite common amongst adults and is quite rare amongst children. The term "apnea" is applicable for a period of 10 or more seconds that a person stops breathing while they are asleep. As can be expected, sleep apnea disrupts sleep due to the pause in breathing and the low levels of oxygen. This condition chronically occurs and moves the person sleeping from a deep sleep into a more shallow level of sleep that one can easily wake up from.
There are many kinds of sleep apnea, such as central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea. Of the three kinds, the most common kind is obstructive sleep apnea, which is when an airway is obstructed or collapses entirely and there is a difficulty in breathing. The outcome of this kind of apnea is difficulty in concentration during the day, daytime sleepiness, fatigue for no apparent reason, irritability, poor memory and a shorter attention span. This is also the kind of sleep that produces snoring, which can be quite troublesome for people who share a room or a bed, such as married couples or those people with roommates.
It is possible to treat sleep apnea with a few kinds of lifestyle choices. Overweight people have a higher chance of developing sleep apnea because there is more chance for tissues to obstruct the air passageways. Some habits like smoking, excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages and abuse of sleeping pills and sedatives is also believed to cause sleep apnea because of its inflammatory properties, and its muscle relaxing effects that cause the throat to be too loose interfering with breathing.
If despite committing to these lifestyle changes as well avoiding the aforementioned substances but you still experience sleep apnea, then your condition is more severe. It is a must that you visit an apnea specialist immediately.