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Sleep Apnea: A Serious Problem?

Prone to loud snoring or tiredness even after a full night’s sleep?

Consult a doctor if it is persistent as you may be suffering from sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by infrequent or shallow breathing or lapses in breathing, during sleep. Apnea and hypopnea are the terms used for lapses and shallow breathing conditions respectively.

Apnea is of three kinds namely Central, Obstructive and Mixed caused by respiratory effort lack, breathing disrupted by a blockage in the respiratory track and a combination of both respectively.

Sleep apnea is in fact a serious problem, a serious medical condition that needs to be addressed at the earliest. The complications that arise out of apnea actually determine the intensity of the problem.

  1. Heart ailments and high blood pressure: Apnea causes sudden reductions in the level of oxygen leading to building up the blood pressure, further straining the heart. In fact obstructive sleep apnea makes individuals vulnerable to heart strokes, irrespective of whether they suffer from blood pressure or not. It also gives rise to medical conditions like atrial fibrillation, heart failures due to congestion and various other vascular problems. It could very well prove to be fatal.
  2. Fatigue during daytimes: Constant disturbances in sleep deteriorate the quality of rest that needs to be otherwise taken during nighttime, leading to fatigue, irritation and drowsiness throughout the day. it may be a problem for children and working adults resulting in poor and deteriorated performances at their workspace.
  3. Surgery and Medication complications: All major and most minor surgeries require sedations like anesthesia and for someone suffering from apnea it may be a risky condition leading to further complications. Doctors need to be informed prior surgeries if patient has sleep apnea.
  4. Liver and gastric problems: People suffering from apnea can be diagnosed with liver and gastric ailments like liver scarring, excessive burping and acidity.

While these are the major complications that can arise out of apnea, there are various others too like partners of such patients being deprived of sleep leading to irritated and gloomy partners too. Major hospitals in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and various others offer specialized treatments for people suffering from apnea.

Self-help treatment options are available, but if they yield no benefits it’s time to visit a sleep specialist. Sharing your problems and uneasiness with him/her will aid them to diagnose better, and suggest the best treatment. Its generally central and complex kinds of sleep apnea that requires specialist help. The treatments available are:

  1. Treatment of the root condition that underlies the disease.
  2. Supplementary oxygen treatment whilst sleeping
  3. Use of breathing devices (generally for obstructive sleep apnea)


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