What is sleep apnea and what is its treatment?

Sleep apnoea syndrome (popularly known as SAS) is a condition in which breathing during sleep stops intermittently.

Medically, it is considered that apnoea is present when breathing is interrupted for ten seconds or more. When apnoea occurs thirty times or more during 7 hours of sleep, or 5 times or more per hour, it’s diagnosed as a sleep apnoea disease.

These apnoeas are usually accompanied by snoring, but as they are difficult to perceive during sleep, it is necessary to apply the treatment of snoring and sleep apnoea quickly to avoid future complications in the patient who presents it.

Attention to snoring

Often thought of as simple snoring, sleep apnoea can have non-negligible consequences for daytime activity and physical condition. In fact, in recent years, researchers have discovered a close link between sleep apnoea and lifestyle-related diseases, increasing the risk of developing worse diseases such as hypertension, stroke, angina, and myocardial infarction.

If your family has pointed out constant and loud snoring when you are sleeping, we recommend that you do not overlook it and visit a specialist as soon as possible.

Sleep apnoea causes a lack of oxygen in the body. The main problem of this disorder is that sleep, whose principal purpose is to help the body rest, becomes an overload, as the heart rate increases to counteract this irregularity.

General symptoms for sleep apnoea

While sleeping

– Loud snoring during sleep

– Breathing stops for 10 seconds or more

– Difficulty breathing when waking up

– Unusual sweating

– Headache and tiredness when waking up

During daily activities

– Fatigue in carrying out your daily activities

– Difficulty concentrating

– Being frequently drowsy

– Falling asleep at certain times during the daily routine

Who is most prone to developing the apnoea syndrome?

Men are more prone to sleep apnoea syndrome, though women are not exempt from it. There is also a tendency for men between 30 and 60 years old. For women, it is most common after they reach menopause.

These trends are thought to be influenced by differences in physical characteristics between men and women and changes in body shape as it ages.

In addition to this, people with bad habits or other problems are also prone to develop sleep apnoea syndrome, regardless of gender.

What else may induce sleep apnoea syndrome?

– Smoking frequently

– Drinking alcohol without moderation, especially before bedtime.

– Not measuring our eating habits may also induce this disease.

– Those who have lifestyle-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and abnormally elevated cholesterol are also prone to suffering from sleep apnoea syndrome.

Main treatments for sleep apnoea

Treatments for mild to moderate sleep apnoea include CPAP therapy (continuous positive airway pressure), sleep apnoea mouthpiece therapy, and the use of Mandibular Advanced Splints (MAS).

This last treatment option is one of the most used. At the Craneomandibular Institute, you can find specialists in apnoea MAS therapy. It is a less invasive option for the patient’s comfort. Sleep is essential, so we think patients will appreciate receiving this treatment.

Adnan Sarpal

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