If you have been experiencing fatigue during the day yet you normally have enough hours of sleep at night, it may be possible that you may be having a sleep disorder. One of the most common sleep disorders is obstructive sleep apnea. When you have this condition, you may not be aware of it but it negatively affects your health. This is because it interferes with your sleep which lowers your concentration during the day. It is however important to note that you can sleep well despite having the condition by using CPAP machines.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea refers to a sleeping disorder which causes you to stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep. You can stop breathing a few times each night and if your condition is severe, your breathing may get interrupted hundreds of times per night. Each time you stop breathing, your brain is forced to come out of deep sleep in order to enable you to breathe again.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea which occurs when the airway gets blocked. When you sleep, the muscles on your throat relax and the soft tissues on your throat may fall on the airway thus blocking it. The lack of oxygen reduces the flow of blood to the brain which causes it to get out of deep sleep in order to motion to the muscles responsible for breathing to take in air. You will therefore be awake for a brief moment as you take in a deep breath which opens up the obstruction.
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
When you have sleep apnea, you will be sleepy during the day and you may also be irritable due to the lack of proper rest. You may also experience headaches in the morning since the oxygen that flows to your brain keeps getting interrupted. When you wake up briefly to take in a deep breath, you will normally snore or grunt very loudly. Your partner or family members can have their sleep disrupted due to these noises.
Risks Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
You can be at a higher risk of suffering from obstructive sleep apnea if you are overweight. This is because you may have excess soft tissues on your throat which can end up obstructing the airway as you sleep. You may also naturally be at risk of having OSA if you have a large tongue or a narrow throat that easily gets obstructed. As you grow older, the risk of having OSA increases since your throat muscles become weaker and can collapse easily.
CPAP As A Solution
If you suspect that you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, it is a good idea to book an appointment with a sleep therapist. The therapist will carry out a sleep study on you by placing monitors on your body.
The monitors will help the doctor to determine your heart rate and blood pressure among other things. This test will determine how severe the OSA is and whether CPAP machines will be the most effective treatment for you. The doctor may also try different machines on you in order to recommend the machine that will give you the best results.