Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which affects a limited number of people – just about 4 to 5 percent of total population of the world. However, this disease needs proper treatment due to its effects on a patient’s life.
A symptom of Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing for a short period of time which may go up to 90 seconds during normal sleep. This malfunctioning can occur a number of times in the night or while sleeping even during the day. Sleep apnea results in obstruction of flow of oxygen to the brain. The moment the oxygen supply is reduced, the brain restarts sending signals to breathe and the patient starts normal breathing.
Causes of this disease can be related both to muscular and brain problems. In the case of brain-related disorder due to a neurological problem, the brain may start to function slowly and result in a temporary stoppage of the flow of information from the brain to the body. The brain forgets to send breathing signals to the body and the patient forgets to breathe for a short spell of time.
This is more predominant in the case of kids and also in old people. This is due to the lesser development of the brain during childhood or degeneration due to old age. Further, neurological disorders can be caused due to drinking. In the case of persons who go to sleep after drinking alcohol, the stimulation of brain cells, and the activity of brain cells is reduced. As a result, one may experience sleep apnea. This problem is also very common with people who consume sleeping pills or other sedatives to facilitate sleep.
The muscle related sleep apnea is found more in the case of persons with long neck or those having tonsillitis problem, or are bulky or those who have long tongue and snore during sleep. In the case of such persons throat opening gets obstructed due to swollen tonsillitis, or due to excess fat cells.
The sleep apnea can also happen during the day. In this condition the patient often becomes sleepy during driving as he is concentrating on driving the vehicle. This can become a cause of an accident.
Remedies can be found both in medicines and change of lifestyle. A person suffering from this disease should first put in maximum efforts to reduce weight. By reduction of weight, the excess fat deposits in respiratory system will be removed and air obstruction will reduce. Medical science has developed some gadgets which a person suffering from this problem can tie to the mouth while going to sleep. This gadget regulates flow of air and in case of obstruction the air flow is increased mechanically.
Though not proved some researchers link this to hereditary problem. Anyway this is a serious problem and may prove fatal if recourses time and again, and needs proper treatment at the earliest.