Sleep Apnoea/ Snoring problems
Sleep Apnoea is a decrease or cessation of breathing during sleep, which may be obstructive, due to the frustration of breathing against blocked airways. Oxygen levels reduce, carbon dioxide levels increase and this causes the persons sleep level to become less deep but not necessarily wake up fully.
There are 3 man types of Sleep Apnoea;
- Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) – the most common type of sleep apnoea. It occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, often associated with loud snoring.
- Central sleep apnoea (CSA) – a far less common type of sleep apnoea that involves the central nervous system. It occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing. People that suffer with central sleep apnoea seldom snore.
- Complex sleep apnoea – a combination of obstructive sleep apnoea and central sleep apnoea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a serious condition in which airflow from the nose and mouth to the lungs is restricted during sleep. It is often (but not always) associated with loud snoring.
Whilst snoring can be considered antisocial and place potential pressures on relationships. The partial airway obstruction can have far reaching consequences on those with the affliction.
Sleep apnoea has many associated issues (medical co-morbidities) but perhaps the most acute outcome is that it can lead to extreme fatigue during the day which can cause people to fall asleep with little or no warning. This problem has been implicated in many fatal road accidents.
If you suspect that you may be affected by Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), please seek advice immediately!
The Major signs and symptoms of sleep apnoea
- Pauses in breathing
- Loud and chronic snoring, almost every night
- Choking, snorting, or gasping during sleep
- Waking up at night feeling short of breath
- Daytime sleepiness / fatigue, no matter how much time you spend in bed
Other warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnoea
- Insomnia or nighttime awakenings
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Going to the bathroom frequently during the night (nocturia)
- Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
- Uncharacteristic moodiness, irritability, or depression
- Morning headaches
- Restless or fitful sleep
What causes Sleep apnoea?
While anyone can have sleep apnoea, you have a higher risk for obstructive sleep apnoea if you are:
- Have a family history of sleep apnoea
- Are over the age of 50
- Are Black, Hispanic, or a Pacific Islander
- A smoker
- Affected by high blood pressure
- Someone with a neck circumference greater than 16 inches
- Taking certain medications (sleeping pills etc.) associated with relaxing the muscles around the throat
- Have a higher alcohol intake