Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you sleep. This means the brain and the rest of the body may not get enough oxygen.
Sleep apnea has two types
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is caused by a blockage of the airway by the collapsing of the soft tissue at the back of the throat during sleep.
- Central Sleep Apnea: This is caused when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control centre
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Loud snoring
- Morning headache
- Awakening with a dry mouth
Sleep apnea can affect anyone but certain factors can increase your risk such as;
- Excess weight
- Being male
- Family history
- Medical Conditions
- Nasal obstruction
Treating Sleep Apnea
Mild sleep apnea may be treated with some lifestyle changes. These include but are not limited to losing weight, changing sleeping positions, quitting smoking, treating nasal allergies. However, the most common treatment for sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).
With CPAP, you wear a mask over your nose or mouth while you sleep. This mask is hooked to a machine which delivers continuous air pressure through the mask. This keeps your airways open so you can breathe the way you should.