Sleep Apnea: Is This Something That You Have to Be Worried About?
Snoring can be normal for some people. Hence, they don’t find this enough reason to be anxious about. However, aside from becoming a nuisance to your partner because of those “nightly symphonies”, this can also be a sign of a serious health problem. Hence, you need to know what causes your regular snoring, how this is affecting your health and how to manage such symptom.
Snoring can be caused by a lot of factors. And its exact cause is the obstruction of the airways. The soft palate (tissues on the roof of your mouth) or the back part of your throat can be at their relax state, thus blocking airflow.
“Blowing air to a floppy tube will create a vibrating sound and your airways can be a floppy tube at night, causing you to snore”, explained Dr. Michael Grandner from the University of Pennsylvania.
You can be “sawing logs” at night and you don’t know it. It happens when you sleep on your back, due to nasal congestion, after drinking alcohol or due to colds or allergies. And half of adult population snores at night according to Dr. Grandner. But many of them still get enough air to function normally.
Some can address snoring issue by simply changing their lifestyle and sleeping position. But to others, there can be a deeper reason why they make loud noises at night. This can be because of an enlarged uvula which blocks their breathing. Being overweight and having a large tongue can also lead to sleep apnea. And once the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen that it needs, this can lead to serious cardiac issues.
“Many people have sleep apnea and they don’t even know it”, says Dr. Grandner. Because of such condition is often not diagnosed and not addressed well. This can trigger high blood pressure, heart attacks, high cholesterol and other heart problems. You may have sleep apnea if you experience daytime sleepiness. “If you often times find yourself sleeping right after sitting then you may have sleep apnea”, Dr. Grandner said. Waking up exhausted can also be an indication of such disorder.
Diagnosing sleep apnea can be done with ease. All you need is to undergo an overnight sleep study at a sleep clinic. You may be advised to make lifestyle changes like sleeping at your back and reducing weight. You may also be asked to use a CPAP machine while asleep to keep your airway open. Once the clear airway has been established, the person will have more energy to last for the day and have a better sense of well-being at the same time.