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When left untreated, sleep apnoea can be potentially life threatening.
This is a dangerous problem and more so because of the length of these ‘apnoea’ ; sometimes up to a minute. When left untreated, sleep apnoea can be potentially life threatening. There are three main forms of sleep apnoea: central sleep apnoea, mixed sleep apnoea and obstructive sleep apnoea. Despite the different names they are all the same in effect – the patient stops breathing during sleep. The reason for the different terms is because the basic cause of each varies…..click & see
Obstructive sleep apnoea is the most common form and is caused by a blockage in the airways. This in turn is caused by the tissue at the back of the throat relaxing and closing during sleep.
Central sleep apnoea is a brain related problem in which the nerve signals are not sent to the breathing muscles resulting in breathing problems even when there is no airway blockage present. Mixed sleep apnoea is a mixture of the two – a soft tissue problem and a brain signal error. To ensure that the body receives enough oxygen to survive, the brain will wake the sleeping individual to ‘remind’ them to breath. As a consequence of this, sleep for sufferers of sleep apnoea can be unsatisfying. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available.
The main symptom of sleep apnoea occurs during sleep and as such the individual will often be unaware of the problem. The spouse, or partner, will often be the first to complain about the disturbance.
Most sleep apnoea treatment regimens begin with lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol and medications that relax the central nervous system like, sedatives and muscle relaxant , losing weight and quitting smoking.
Some people with sleep apnoea are helped by special pillows or devices that keep them from sleeping on their backs to keep the airway open during sleep.
Source: The Times Of India