Sleep apnea, how to diagnose
The majority of people are completely unaware of this phenomenon, considering it to be cardiac arrest or heart attack later on. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, causing a person to briefly stop breathing multiple times throughout the night.
- Central sleep apnea (CSA): This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome (CompSA): This type is a combination of both OSA and CSA
Symptoms of sleep apnea can include loud snoring, choking or gasping during sleep, insomnia, daytime fatigue, and morning headache. Sleep apnea can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and other health problems.
To diagnose sleep apnea, a healthcare professional will typically conduct a physical examination, review your medical history, and ask about your symptoms. They may also recommend a sleep study, which is a test that is done in a sleep laboratory or at home. During a sleep study, a person’s brain waves, eye movements, heart rate, and breathing are monitored while they sleep.
There are several types of sleep studies, but the most common is called a polysomnogram (PSG). A PSG is an overnight test that is done in a sleep laboratory, where sensors are attached to your head, face, legs, and chest to monitor your brain waves, eye movements, muscle activity, and breathing.
Home sleep apnea testing (HSAT) is another option which measures airflow and breathing patterns and is conducted at home.
Based on the results of the sleep study, the healthcare professional can determine whether or not a person has sleep apnea and what type of treatment is needed.
How to cure sleep apnea
Treatment for sleep apnea typically involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medical therapy. The goal of treatment is to keep the airway open during sleep and to prevent pauses in breathing.
Some common treatments for sleep apnea include:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): This is a common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It involves wearing a mask over the nose or mouth that delivers a steady stream of air pressure to help keep the airway open.
- Oral appliances: These are small devices that are worn in the mouth during sleep to help keep the airway open. They are usually recommended for mild to moderate OSA.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove excess tissue from the airway or to repair structural abnormalities that are causing sleep apnea.
- Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your lifestyle, such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, and sleeping on your side, can also help to reduce the severity of sleep apnea.
- Behavioural therapy: This therapy aims to change the patient’s behaviour to improve their sleep, such as avoiding caffeine and nicotine, keeping a regular sleep schedule, and avoiding daytime naps.
- Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV): This treatment is similar to CPAP, but it uses a more advanced algorithm to provide air pressure that adjusts to the individual’s breathing pattern.
The type of treatment that is best for you will depend on the severity of your sleep apnea, your overall health, and your personal preferences. It’s important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
It’s also important to follow up with your healthcare provider regularly to evaluate the treatment’s effectiveness and to make adjustments if necessary.
Do we have some other heart-related complications ordinary folks are unaware
Yes, there are several heart-related complications that some people may not be aware of. Some of these include:
- Heart arrhythmias: These are problems with the rhythm of the heart, such as atrial fibrillation (AFib) or ventricular tachycardia (VT), which can increase the risk of stroke or heart failure.
- Heart valve problems: These include conditions such as aortic stenosis or mitral regurgitation, which can cause the heart to work harder and lead to heart failure.
- Cardiomyopathy: This is a condition that affects the structure and function of the heart muscle, making it harder for the heart to pump blood effectively. There are several types of cardiomyopathy, including dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and restrictive cardiomyopathy.
- Pulmonary hypertension: This is a condition in which the blood pressure in the lungs is too high, which can make it harder for the heart to pump blood through the lungs.
- Pericarditis: This is an inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart, which can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms.
- Aortic dissection: This is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition in which the inner layer of the aorta, the major blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body, tears.
- Coronary Microvascular Disease (MVD) is a condition that affects the small vessels in the heart, it is common in women and can cause angina, chest pain and heart attack.
These conditions can be caused by a variety of factors, such as genetics, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking