Print Diagnosis Your doctor may make an evaluation based on your signs and symptoms and a sleep history, which you can provide with help from someone who shares your bed or your household, if possible.
Additional symptoms associated with this disease: Leg swelling if apnea is severe Automatic behavior performing actions by rote Hyperactive behavior, especially in children High blood pressure An estimated 18 million Americans have sleep apnea.
However, few of them have had the problem diagnosed. Patients with the typical features of sleep apnea, such as loud snoring, obesity, and excessive daytime sleepiness should be referred to a specialized sleep center that can perform a test called polysomnography.
If sleep apnea is diagnosed, several treatments are available. Mild sleep apnea frequently can be overcome through weight loss or by preventing the person from sleeping on his or her back.
Other people may need special devices or surgery to correct the obstruction.
People with sleep apnea should never take sedatives or sleeping pills, which can prevent them from awakening enough to breathe. Causes Certain mechanical and structural problems in the airway cause the interruptions in breathing during sleep.
In some people, apnea occurs when the throat muscles and tongue relax during sleep and partially block the opening of the airway. When the muscles of the soft palate at the base of the tongue and the uvula the small fleshy tissue hanging from the center of the back of the throat relax and sag, the airway becomes blocked, making breathing labored and noisy and even stopping it altogether.
Sleep apnea also can occur in obese people when an excess amount of tissue in the airway causes it to be narrowed. With a narrowed airway, the person continues his or her efforts to breathe, but air cannot easily flow into or out of the nose or mouth.
During the apneic event, the person is unable to breathe in oxygen and to exhale carbon dioxide, resulting in low levels of oxygen and increased levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.
The reduction in oxygen and increase in carbon dioxide alert the brain to resume breathing and cause an arousal.
With each arousal, a signal is sent from the brain to the upper airway muscles to open the airway; breathing is resumed, often with a loud snort or gasp.
Frequent arousals, although necessary for breathing to restart, prevent the patient from getting enough restorative, deep sleep. Because of the serious disturbances in their normal sleep patterns, people with sleep apnea often feel very sleepy during the day and their concentration and daytime performance suffer.
The consequences of sleep apnea range from annoying to life threatening.
They include depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while at work, on the phone, or driving.
It has been estimated that up to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients have high blood pressure. Risk for heart attack and stroke may also increase in those with sleep apnea.
In addition, sleep apnea is sometimes implicated in sudden infant death syndrome. For many sleep apnea patients, their spouses are the first to suspect that something is wrong, usually from their heavy snoring and apparent struggle to breathe.
Coworkers or friends of the sleep apnea victim may notice that the individual falls asleep during the day at inappropriate times such as while driving a car, working, or talking.
The patient often does not know he or she has a problem and may not believe it when told. It is important that the person see a doctor for evaluation of the sleep problem.Sleep apnea symptoms and signs include snoring, choking and sleepiness.
Obesity, age and neck size are among the risk factors for sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common category of sleep-disordered breathing.
The muscle tone of the body ordinarily relaxes during sleep, and at the level of the throat, the human airway is composed of collapsible walls of soft tissue which can obstruct breathing. Do you have sleep apnea? Learn what causes it, what symptoms look like, and what you can do to help yourself and get the most out of treatment.
Learn about sleep apnea, get tips and tools, and take our quiz to find out if you're at risk. Learn about insomnia, sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, and other sleep disorders.
Get tips on how to fall asleep and sleep better. Sleep Apnea - Symptoms & Risk Factors. Symptoms.
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is caninariojana.comr, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring is likely to be a sign of sleep apnea when it is followed by silent breathing pauses and choking or gasping sounds.