A serious type of sleep disorder, sleep apnea occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. People who suffer from sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly in their sleep. Sometimes it can be hundreds of times. This results in the brain and other important organs of the body ending up not getting enough oxygen.
Sleep apnea may be classified into two types: Obstructive sleep apnea (when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses, it causes a blockage in the airway) and central sleep apnea (as a result of instability in the respiratory control centre, the brain is unable to signal the muscles to breathe).
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People of any age group can suffer from sleep apnea. However, certain risk factors include obesity, a large neck, being male, being over forty years of age, having tonsils, having nasal obstructions and GERD.
However, there are many people who do not even realise that they suffer from sleep apnea. This can prove to be fatal in the long run. Hence, there are certain signs of sleep apnea you should look out for and visit the doctor immediately if you see that you suffer from these symptoms.
If even after sleeping for seven to eight hours in the night you feel sleepy throughout the day, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. People who suffer from this type of condition do not even realise that they have woken up several times in the night.
Also Read: Main Causes Of Breathing Problems
If you wake up with a headache even after your regular dose of sleep, it could signal sleep apnea. Symptoms could also surface in the form of weight gain, regular trips to the bathroom at night, anxiety, irritability and mood swings. Male impotency could also be a result of sleep apnea.
Children also suffer from sleep apnea. Signs are poor attention span, irritability, falling asleep in the class, hypersensitivity and wetting the bed at night even though the kid is potty and pee trained.