There are millions of people who suffer from the sleep disorder called sleep apnea. There are a lot of people who are at high risk for developing this disorder who do not even know it. It is important to develop an understanding of this disorder not just for yourself but for those you love.
You may have a little bit of curiosity about this disorder. When people have it, they get a blockage of their airways to the point where air cannot easily reach their lungs when they are asleep. This can happen as much as fifty times an hour when someone is asleep. The episodes can go on for more than 10 seconds, and they will often cause people to snore or wake up feeling like they are choking.
However, there are significant side effects to this disorder that go way beyond the feeling of choking. People can experience high blood pressure, low oxygen levels in their blood, irregular heart rhythm and high levels of carbon dioxide. The body ends up trying to compensate for the fact that it is struggling to breathe, which really takes a toll on the sympathetic nervous system. It is vital that the disease gets recognized or else the person will continue to suffer from more than just a lack of sleep. They will also be at continued risk for many complications such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or worse- death.
It is not that easy to determine whether or not someone has sleep apnea. However, there are some common symptoms to look for. It is extremely difficult to self-diagnose this problem due to the fact that those who are suffering from the condition are not usually conscious enough to recognize their own symptoms. However, you can look for the signs in someone that you are close to. Those who have this condition will often snore very loudly.
As a matter of fact, a lot of the people who have been looking for cures to quit snoring have often found that the root cause of their snoring is actually this condition. You may also notice that people who have this condition will have pauses in their breathing that last for a couple of seconds, and then the pauses are followed by the sound of choking. Restless sleeping could signify that the person is having a hard time breathing properly. This is because a person may move around a lot as they struggle to get back to normal breathing. Frequent bathroom trips in the night, sleepiness through the day, moodiness, headaches and trouble concentrating are all additional symptoms.
If you think that someone you know fits this description, it may be time for them to visit a sleep specialist where they could be tested for a diagnosis. There is a specific sleep study that is used for diagnosis purposes called Polysomnography. This is the only way that sleep apnea can truly be diagnosed, and it is very important to find out as early as possible if this is the cause for sleep disturbance.