Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, also known as OSA, is one of the most common types of sleep apnea conditions that is known to affect individuals. It is caused by the obstruction of the upper airway within the body and can be characterized by pauses in breathing during the sleep cycle. It is associated with a noteworthy reduction in the amount of blood oxygen saturation. Most people who have obstructive sleep apnea never realize that they have ceased to breathe during their sleep, only discovering it otherwise when someone has noticed it while watching them or after a sleeping test used to determine why the individual is not getting restful and fulfilling sleep patterns. Most cases of obstructive sleep apnea are accompanied by snoring.
The symptoms that are associated with the condition may be present for many years without any realization. The individual may feel as if they are very sleepy during the daytime and may deal with high levels of fatigue when compared to feeling more rested previously. Some of the common symptoms that are associated with the condition can also include anxiety, irritability, depression, forgetfulness, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, lack of sex drive, weight gain, heartburn, night sweats, and increased urination. Adults who have OSA are generally more likely to also suffer from obesity, which is believed to lead towards apnea because of the amount of weight on the individual ultimately leading to a further obstruction.
Children are also able to have obstructive sleep apnea, although their symptoms tend to differ when compared to adults. In example, while an adult may feel as if they are very sleepy during the daytime, a child may not deal with this type of symptom at all. Instead, a child may seem as if they are being hyperactive or show signs of the typical crankiness associated with being over-tired. Although adults with obstructive sleep apnea are generally obese, this is less likely with children; many children who are experiencing the disorder are very thin and may even have failure-to-thrive syndrome. In children, this condition is often caused by adenoids or having obstructive tonsils. This can often be cured by removing these elements of the body via the use of surgery, though most parents will find this type of option to be unnecessary.
It has been said that those who are elderly are more at risk to deal with obstructive sleep apnea because they will be dealing with a significant amount of loss of muscle tone. This can also be caused by those who have been using chemical depressants, such as those who abuse the use of alcoholic drinks or sedatives. Working to prevent the loss of muscle tone can greatly help to reduce the risk associated with OSA.