Sleep Apnea Cause

Learn About Causes, Symptoms, Cures and Treatments in Children and Adults. Learn about Causes, Symptoms, Cures and Treatments in Children and Adults.

I get lots of questions every day about sleep apnea cause, symptoms and treatments.

Sleep apnea can causes (sometimes wrongly written as sleep apnia, sleep apena, sleep aponea or sleep apnoea) deep sleep problems in it's victims.

It is a very common sleeping disorder, and occurs to those who have a difficultly breathing during their sleep.It is usually associated with very loud and excessive snoring, and periods during sleep where breathing does not occur.

Because those with sleep apnea are not getting enough oxygen during sleep, there are short periods where the body will trigger the individual to wake up in order to get a deep breath of oxygen.

Because of this, sleep apnea also causes a lot of other medical conditions such as heart disease,stroke and even death.

This wake up period can happen hundreds of times during one night, and although the sleeper might not remember them, they can play a huge role on how rested the body feels the following morning.

It can be a very difficult sleeping disorder to deal with, since it prevents the body from ever entering into a deep sleep. It is usually associated with overweight individuals, but can also occur from facial deformities that obstruct the normal sleeping and breathing patterns.

It can be a very serious condition when not diagnosed and treated, and can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, and extremely sleepiness during the day that can lead to accidents.

It is most commonly treated with lifestyle and behavior changes, such as weight loss, snoring aids, and changes in sleeping patterns to help regulate the internal clock.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms.

These include loud snoring and abnormal pattern of gasps and pauses. Excessive daytime sleepiness caused by poor sleep at night, irritability and depression. Occasionally sleep apnea can contribute to high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke or heart attack.

The problems are compounded for obese people who also may have hypoventilation.Sufferers may fall asleep during sedentary activities e.g. while watching their favorite TV programme or at the cinema.

This condition is certainly very dangerous for drivers who may fall asleep at the wheel and experience near crashes. The patient may take daytime naps but still wake up unrefreshed.
Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three different types of sleep apnea – these include obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and mixed sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is when there is complete or partial obstruction of the airway during sleep causing loud snoring, oxyhemoglobin desaturations and frequent arousals, and is a major sleep apnea cause.

Central sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder that is caused by the brain failing to send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to initiate respiration.

Central sleep apnea may be caused by bulbar poliomyelitis, encephalitis affecting the brain stem and neuro-degenerative illnesses.

Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

This is achieved by means of a sleep test, called polysomnography Measurements are made while the patient sleeps to confirm the diagnosis.

Side effects/complications Sleep apnea causes a life-threatening condition which may lead to serious illness especially of the heart, due to the interruptions in breathing during sleep.

Children That Have Sleep Apnea

It is common in children aged 2 to 7 and can occur at times of upper respiratory tract infection when the tonsils enlarge - so often tonsillectomy is advised.

However the children can be monitored at a sleep clinic overnight to weigh up the pros and cons of such a traumatic procedure for young children. Childhood obesity is a large factor so losing weight is the first line of approach if applicable.

Signs may include failure to thrive and not doing well at school due to daytime tiredness. There may also be behavioral problems and bed wetting. The young patient may be screened by polysomnography meaning sleep studies.

Sleep Apnea in Pregnancy

Undiagnosed sleep apnea causes complications in pregnancy. Dangers may be low birth weight of the baby, pre-eclampsia (pregnancy induced hypertension), placenta abrupta (separation of the placenta from the wall of the womb) and not least premature delivery.

The following birth defects are suspected:
Cognitive Disability
Brain hemorrhage

Women are encouraged to educate each other about the dangers of undiagnosed sleep apnea in pregnancy. Family and friends should learn to recognize the symptoms in pregnant mothers which may includeloud snoring, sudden pauses in breathing, abnormal headaches and falling asleep inappropriately. All these are signs of sleep apnea cause by pregnacy.

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