How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Daily Life?

Jan 01, 2022

Sleep is the body’s rest cycle during which you are inactive, and your awareness of environmental stimuli and bodily functions are at the minimum. On an average, an healthy adult needs up to seven hours of sleep daily. However, achieving this is a challenging task for some people because of sleep apnea which disrupts the sleep cycle.

For people that have sleep apnea, breathing repeatedly starts and stops while asleep. It is usually due to abnormal function of the nervous system or airway blockage. Furthermore, it causes loud snoring and deprives you and many others around you of quality sleep. You should seek sleep apnea treatment immediately after diagnosis because untreated sleep apnea can lead to many health problems, including diabetes, heart failure, heart attack, hypertension, stroke, cardiomyopathy, etc. Insufficient sleep also causes you to be unproductive during the day. Reach out to us at Burton Dentistry right away.

Types, Causes, And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

The causes of sleep apnea classify the sleep disorder into three
They include:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The obstructive type of sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea, and it is caused by repeated episodes of complete or partial airway blockage while you are sleeping. Your diaphragm and chest muscles work harder than usual with increased pressure in a bid to open up the blocked airway. Obstructive sleep apnea reduces the oxygen flow to your vital organs while intermittently interfering with your sleep, thereby causing you to resume your breathing with loud gasps and body jerks.

The relaxation of the muscles at the back of your throat causes complete or partial airway blockage. These muscles support many organs; therefore, they narrow or close your airway when you breathe in. You are at risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) if you smoke, drink alcohol, are overweight, are old, have nasal congestion, have a family history of OSA. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include cognitive impairment, restlessness during sleep, sore throat, and dry mouth snoring, daytime tiredness, night sweats, when you wake up.

Central Sleep Apnea

This type of sleep apnea is related to the functions of the central nervous system. Rather than the airway being blocked, with central sleep apnea, the brain fails to signal the breathing muscles to breathe. This failure to signal the muscles occurs due to the respiratory control center. Although less common than obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea mainly occurs in people with neuromuscular diseases such as stroke, ALS, heart failure, etc. Central sleep apnea can cause your breathing to stop for up to 20 seconds.

You are at risk of developing central sleep apnea if you are male, have neuromuscular diseases, use narcotic pain medication, are old, have heart disorders, sleep at high altitudes, etc. Symptoms include excessive sweating at night, bedwetting, sleepiness and sluggishness, difficulty breathing or swallowing, unusual sleeping positions, etc.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome

It is a rare type of sleep apnea syndrome in which a person has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Therefore, there is a repeated start and stop of breathing caused by both complete or partial airway blockage as well as poor brain signalling of breathing muscles.

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Your Daily Life?

You need to get about seven hours of sleep daily to function correctly. Since sleep apnea interrupts your sleep and prevents you from getting quality sleep, this has adverse effects on your daily life. These include:

  • Daytime Fatigue.
  • Decreased productivity.
  • High blood pressure and heart problems.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Liver problems.
  • Poor school performance.
  • Learning and behavioral disorders.
  • Cognitive impairment.

Once you notice signs of sleep apnea, you should visit a dentist in Alexandria, VA, or any dentist that deals with sleep apnea near you for diagnosis and treatment. Professionals treat sleep apnea with CPAP devices (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), sleep apnea mouthguard, surgery, etc.

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