The studies have shown that around 12 million aged people are the victims of the disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. Among these victims half of the people face the problem of obesity. Therefore, doctors link the problems of sleep apnea with overweight. Overweight thus is a danger factor for sleep apnea patients.
Sleep apnea is a disorder which blocks the path of air during sleep, leading to loss of breaths. Though it happens in a short duration, its frequency is around five to thirty times an hour. This sometimes may lead to sudden death. Sometimes it may also lead to physical and health problems. Stress hormones are secreted by the body when the level of oxygen in the body is low. These hormones vary the sleep times and cause tiredness. This may also lead to diseases like heart attack, diabetes, hypertension, stroke etc.
There are many methods to treat sleep apnea. Right treatment can be provided by right diagnosis. No victim can get to know that he is suffering from this disorder. Only the roomier or the partner who gets affected throughout the night due to the snores of a person can identify the problem.
Of the major risk factors of sleep apnea, obesity is one. It is learnt that sleep apnea is seen more in men folk than in females. In the United States, the proportion of sleep apnea patients is like this: one middle-aged male amidst 25 and one middle-aged lady amidst 50 might be identified with sleep apnea. It is also known that women face the problem of sleep apnea after their menopause. The severity of sleep apnea is more in older people than in children and teenagers.
Another reason as well as a major symptom of sleep apnea disorder is snoring. Snoring is caused due to high levels of stress and changes in the daily routine of a person. This sometimes may lead to severe sleep apnea events that may be a threat to one’s life.
This disorder is noticed in a large number of people who work during various shift hours, especially during night shifts. For such people, the biological clock gets upset and results in snoring and its related disorders leading it to obstructive sleep apnea. In other words, it can be said that lack of sleep during night time will lead to disorders like sleep apnea.
Another factor contributing to the sleep apnea disorder is the race. As per the latest research carried out by the people of Pacific Island, African Americans, and Hispanic are the major victims of sleep apnea. It is also observed that Caucasians are rarely affected by this disorder. The sleeping disorder could also be congenital. That is, one may face this problem if there is a family history of this disorder.
Another set of sleep apnea patients has the small path of air in throat, nose, tongue and mouth. These small paths of air are linked to the structures and shape of muscles, allergies and other therapeutic circumstances.
There are a number of options for treating the sleep apnea disorder. If you are scared of surgeries and using breathing devices and mouthpieces, you can go with this simple option. Since there is no approved drug for treating sleep apnea, it is best to bring some simple changes in your lifestyle. To find an improvement and good relief from the pain of sleep apnea, it is necessary to alter few habits and daily activities.
The first thing you have to do is to change the sleeping positions. If you are used to sleeping on your back, you must start sleeping sideways. Most of the apnea patients openly confess that sleeping on their stomach or back enhances the problem. Sleeping straight, facing the roof will lead to narrowing of airway passages due to the force of gravity. You can find the improvements by rolling sideways. In addition to reducing problems related to sleep apnea, sleeping sideways will reduce snoring problems.
The second thing is to avoid the consumption of alcoholic drinks. This is because alcohol relaxes the muscles. This causes the throat and passage of air muscles to squeeze and narrow the airway passage causing sleep apnea. It is also advised to avoid sleep inducting medicines for other ailments as well, as they have the same effect of alcohol on the muscles. It is best to approach your physician for better guidelines in this regard.
Thirdly, it is advised to lose some extra calories. A little loss in your weight can provide a large number of symptoms of improvement. Weight loss can help you in reducing or sometimes eradicating snoring related problems. As per the research conducted in 2000, it is found that victims of sleep apnea who reduce 10% of their weight are expected to reduce the risks of sleep apnea development by 26%.
Fourth change is to completely avoid smoking. Many smokers debate over the uses of quitting smoking in relation with sleep apnea. If you are addicted to smoking, it is definitely hard for you stop it at once. Many researchers have proved that smoking enhances the problems of sleep apnea. Hence, reducing a cigarette gradually, probably one a day and bringing it to zero count can help you out in avoiding sleep apnea.
Fifth is to open the nasal passages during nights. Allergy medicines and nose sprays can be used for this. In addition to these, nasal strips can also be used. It is necessary to make sure that both nose and mouth are in a good condition before you sleep. Else, the strips may not provide the complete effect.
Finally, make sure that you sleep with your bed partner to monitor the difference in your sleeps. Ask them for an account. They may complain about the loud snores and stops in the breath while you sleep.
You may ask your partner to wake you up when they experience the sleep apnea symptoms. Alternatively, you can hug your partner and sleep to get used to sleep sideways.