Sleep apnea – All you should know

Read on to know whether you have sleep apnea or not? If so then consult immediately with the ENT specialist near you.

pradeep vundavalli Created on 5th May, 21

Sleep apnea is a life-threatening complication in which you suffer from breathing difficulties during sleep. You may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common form of apnea. 

It happens due to the relaxation of your throat muscles. You may also experience central sleep apnea if your brain stops sending signals to your breathing muscles. In some instances, you may experience both obstructive and central sleep apnea at the same time. 


Due to heavy body weight, unhealthy diet, and lack of physical activities, many people in Visakhapatnam experience breathing difficulties while sleeping. It can be a symptom of sleep apnea. 


So, consult your ENT doctor in Visakhapatnam if you suspect you have sleep apnea. 


Now let us see that how can you identify that you are suffering from sleep apnea?

Since the signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea are similar, it can be difficult to tell which type of sleep apnea you have. The below are some of the symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas:

  • Snoring loudly
  • Episodes of trouble breathing while sleeping 
  • Air gasping while sleeping 
  • Dry throat
  • Headache in the morning
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Excessive drowsiness throughout the day 
  • Unable to pay attention in regular work


What are the causes of facing the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Let us start with the causes of obstructive sleep apnea.


When the muscles present in your back throat relax, obstructive sleep apnea happens. When you breathe in, your air passage becomes narrow as your muscles are loosened. 


Hence, you do not get enough ventilation, which causes the oxygen level to drop in blood. When your brain detects that you cannot breathe, it momentarily wakes you up to reopen your airway. 


You may snort, cough, or choke while these things will happen. This cycle can repeat five to thirty times every hour or more during the night. It will hamper your whole night's sleep as well.  


Causes of central sleep apnea

When your brain struggles to send signals to your breathing muscles, you develop this less common type of sleep apnea. For a brief amount of time, you make minor attempts to breathe. You may wake up with shortness of breath or find it difficult to remain asleep.


If you are experiencing any breathing complications while asleep, you must not wait for anything. You should visit the nearest ENT hospital in Visakhapatnam.


Is there any strategy available to get rid of sleep apnea?

Yes, treatments are available. If you are experiencing a milder form of sleep apnea, your doctor can prescribe dietary improvements. He can advise you to lose weight and avoid smoking. If you have respiratory allergies, your doctor will advise you about how to treat them.


If these treatments don't help improve your signs and symptoms, even if your apnea is mild to major, various other options are available.


CPAP: If you have mild to extreme sleep apnea, a CPAP system can provide air pressure through a mask. It is beneficial while you are sleeping. The air pressure in a CPAP machine is slightly higher than the surroundings, so it is enough to hold your upper airway passages clear to avoid apnea and snoring.


Although the most standard and effective treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), some people find it inconvenient or painful. However, after using it for few days, you will be adjusted with the mechanism. 


Treating medical complications: If you have few other medical difficulties like heart or neuromuscular abnormalities, proper treatment for those complications can help you get rid of sleep apnea. 


Oxygen supplementation: If you have central sleep apnea, using supplementary oxygen while sleeping can help.


Surgical procedure: It includes removal of tissue from your air passage. Your doctor will scrape tissue from the back of your mouth and the top of your throat during this operation. Tonsils and adenoids are usually removed as well to enlarge your airway.


If you can avail of proper treatment from an experienced ENT specialist, you can lead a healthy and long-lasting life.