What Causes Sleep Apnea and How to Resolve It?

Women suffering from Sleep Apnea

Are you aware of the fact that there are certain ailments that wreck havoc in your personal life? Sleep Apnea is one among them. In colloquial terms, individuals vexed with the trouble of snoring while asleep are the sleep apnea patients. Let us delve into the details of this ailment and jot down the solutions or treatment alternatives for this oral issue.

What is Sleep Apnea in a Brief?

In the simplest terms, sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when breathing is obstructed during sleep. Consequently, your body wakes you up intermittently in order to resume normal breathing. But this wakefulness is so short lived (for a second or a fraction of it) that the patient is not able to recall it the next morning. So, in a nutshell the problem of snoring while at sleep can be attributed to this disease called sleep apnea.

Have you Ever Wondered What Makes your Snore?

Snoring is that sound which is produced when a person cannot freely breathe through the nose and throat during his sleep. This phenomenon is a resultant of many factors. Some of them are:

  • Candidates who have excessive throat and nasal tissue or floppy tissue that is more likely to vibrate while inhalation and exhalation, the individual snores.
  • The vibration of respiratory structure might lead to the snoring too. This is also due to the obstructed air movement.
  • Obstruction occurs due to a number of other factors like a faulty sleeping position, alcohol consumption, nasal problems, etc.

It however goes without mentioning that snoring is a major symptom of sleep apnea, but regular snoring might also sometimes just be a sign of something else. It might simply indicate that you need to change your sleeping position or have some nasal congestion.

The most important vertical of this discussion is: What are the treatment options for Sleep Apnea?

The most significant determinant is the cause of your sleep apnea. Whether it is a nasal congestion, smoking, obesity issue or malformation of the TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) that makes your jaws intrude too much obstruction the airways – treatment options are chosen accordingly.  The two most common devices that are used to get rid of sleep apnea symptoms are:

      • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airways Pressure)
      • Mouth devices to be used at night

The CPAP Machine:

The mechanism is simply keeping the flow of air down your throat with the help of a continuous pressure at night. Your airways are allowed to remain wide open while you sleep. The information that follows would help you to understand the performance of the CPAP machine – it performs the job with the help of three parts:

      1. A mask that fits over your nose and mouth, held in place with the help of straps on either side.
      2. A motor that blows the air inside.
      3. The Cannula which is a large tube responsible for connecting the mask to the source of the air.

Although the CPAP machine is a portable, light-weight and easy-to-use device, yet, it often causes significant amount of discomfort to the patient. The very act of wearing a mask throughout the night and keeping your sleeping position unaltered is evidently not an easy job!

A mouth device:

This is another alternative. The working of a mouth device is almost similar to wearing braces on your teeth. It is an oral appliance that aids in keeping your air passage unobstructed by holding the tongue or your jaws in place. Essentially therefore, there are 2 variants of oral devices:

Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)

It looks similar to the mouth guard used in sports and makes possible the easing of the lower jaw forward. This keeps the jaw from obstructing the free flow of air through your airways at night.

 A Tongue Retaining Device

This is a vlesser used appliance as compared to MAD. It is simply used to hold back your tongue in place such that it does not recede too much to interrupt your inhalation.

Sleep apnea, to be precise, may have more causal factors than can be thought of instantly! Age and gender are two such elements.  A normal individual can be affected with sleep apnea with age. As far as gender issue is concerned, sleep apnea is more common in males than in females. Even physiological structures have a role to play! If you have inherently small airways, you could be a sufferer of this phenomenon too.

So, the next time you find your partner snoring, don’t complain! Remember, it could be a more complicated illness than it actually seems to be!



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