NOISE OF SLEEPING Symptoms, cause, and therapy


Patients with sleep apnea experience frequent breathing pauses while sleeping. You can learn more about how the syndrome develops and what you can do about it here.

What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Sleep apnea (apnea = Greek for "windlessness," also known as "sleep apnea syndrome") is characterized by nighttime pauses in breathing. Heavy snoring is one of the most common symptoms. Usually, the patient is unaware of his or her sleep apnea; it is the partners who are aware of the individual breath interruptions, which last between ten and thirty seconds. Because sleep apnea can cause secondary problems like high blood pressure and, most importantly, makes individuals fatigued, it should be taken seriously.

What are the dangers of sleep apnea syndrome?

Stopped breathing sets up an alert in the brain and throughout the body. As a result of this, the following occurs:

  • The heart rate has risen.
  • Blood pressure has risen.
  • The vegetative nerve system (VNS) is triggered.
  • Reduced efficiency
  • Concentration problems
  • Consistent exhaustion, which can lead to occasional drifting off. This can be exceedingly dangerous in traffic, for example.

Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea: Causes and Risk Factors

In medicine, there are two types of sleep apnea, each of which has its own set of symptoms and causes:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a type of sleep apnea that

The more prevalent of the two types, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when the upper airway collapses during sleep. The cause is a malfunction of the nerves that control/activate the muscles in the throat at night, as well as various inciting circumstances: the cause is a malfunction of the nerves that control/activate the muscles in the throat at night. Factors that elicit a reaction include:

  • Obesity is one of the risk factors for sleep apnea, a condition that affects many overweight people. Prof. Fietze notes, "Obesity causes snoring and breathing difficulties due to tiny fat deposits in the throat and increased neck girth, although it is rarely the primary cause."
  • When the muscles in the throat relax, the base of the tongue relaxes as well. As a result, the tongue plays a critical role in momentarily blocking the airway in the supine posture.
  • Excessive muscular relaxation: Certain stimulants, such as pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, narcotics, or alcohol, might promote sleep apnea by increasing muscle relaxation.
  • Anatomical traits such as a strongly sunken lower jaw or massive tonsils increase breathing resistance and narrow the throat.

The respiratory muscles continue to receive orders from the brain to take a breath even after the airway has shrunk. The muscles, on the other hand, are insufficient to transport the air through the blocked airways. There is a halt in breathing, and the body is depleted of oxygen at that time. As a result, the oxygen level in the blood drops, and carbon dioxide builds up in the blood, tissues, and brain. In the latter, this automatically sets off an alarm. An alarm stimulation prompts the body to increase its activity immediately, causing it to suddenly

Central sleep apnea is a type of obstructive sleep apnea

Only roughly one out of every ten cases of sleep apnea are classified as central sleep apnea, which is caused by a cardiovascular ailment such as heart failure or a stroke and is caused in the brain. The respiratory control center in the brain does not send an urge to breathe in this circumstance. The brain sends a fresh respiratory impulse only when the amount of unexhaled carbon dioxide in the blood reaches a crucial level. Cheyne-Stokes breathing occurs when certain patients' breathing is very shallow before they stop breathing.

With age, the chances of getting central sleep apnea increase. One out of every four people is thought to be affected.

Is it necessary for me to see a sleep lab if I believe I have sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea may typically be checked at home if it is suspected. The patient is given certain measuring instruments by the doctor for this reason, which record all information on breathing and pauses in breathing, pulse, blood oxygen content, and body position. Polygraphy is the term for this type of measurement, and it is frequently enough to make an initial diagnosis.

The doctor may also refer the affected person to a sleep laboratory for a more extensive examination or to confirm the diagnosis of sleep apnea syndrome, where the so-called polysomnography is done. The inspections are more thorough than the measurements taken at home, yet

What is the best way to cure sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is usually treated individually, and depending on the type of apnea, several types of therapy can be employed. The following therapy options are available:

  • Breathing mask: At night, the special breathing mask is worn. Room air is blasted into the nose (or nose and mouth) with the help of slight overpressure, and so into the throat and lungs, keeping the upper airways from closing and therefore preventing breathing difficulties, using a device connected by a breathing tube. In most cases, the patient learns how to properly utilize the mask in the sleep laboratory.
  • Reducing excess weight: In obstructive sleep apnea, losing weight can help to at least relieve the apnea, if not completely eliminate it.
  • Devices that keep you from falling asleep in a supine position include: Devices that sound an alarm when the sleeper tries to move onto his or her back will only help if sleep apnea occurs almost exclusively in the supine position. It may be sufficient to sew a tennis ball into the back of the pajamas for this reason. Only for those who are otherwise good sleepers.
  • Sleep in an elevated position: It's simpler to keep the tongue from slipping into the throat or fluid from flowing into the throat area if the upper body is somewhat elevated. This is also a possible treatment for mild sleep apnea.
  • Bite splints: Specially designed bite splints can help prevent sleep apnea in mild and moderate cases.

Stimulants should be avoided. Alcohol and cigarettes are examples of typical stimulants.

  • Changing medications: If a drug causes sleep apnea, speak with your doctor about whether there are any other options.

Surgical treatment for sleep apnea: How effective is this treatment?

According to Prof. Fietze, if sleep apnea is caused by anatomical factors, surgery may be recommended based on the circumstances: "A minimally invasive surgery can be helpful if the tongue is low and the soft palate, particularly the uvula, is obstructing the airway. If the tonsils are also greatly swollen, it's a red flag." A tongue pacemaker can also be used to stimulate the nerve that controls the tongue muscles in some patients. At night, this keeps the airway open.

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