How does sleep apnea happen?
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your breathing passes for brief periods while you’re asleep. Normally, when you breathe in, air, flows in through your mouth and nose and down your throat, also called the fairings. Air then flows down your windpipe or trachea, spreading through a tree like structure of smaller tubes into your lungs. Each time you breathe in, negative suction pressure, pulls the soft tissues in your mouth and fairings inward. The muscles in your fairings respond by pulling the soft tissues outward again, which keeps your airway open.
When you sleep, it’s normal for the muscles in your mouth, tongue, and fairings to relax slightly, but not enough to block your airway. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles of your mouth and farings may relax too much. Your tongue drops onto the soft tissue in the roof of your mouth, pressing it against the back of your throat. This completely blocks the flow of air into your lungs. The lack of oxygen in your lungs wakes you up. You may gasp for air to reestablish airflow before falling asleep again.
The cycle of apnea and waking up may happen many times at night, preventing restful sleep. Factors that may contribute to obstructive sleep.
Apnea include obesity because more fat may be present in the walls of the farings. A small or receding jaw with a narrowed airway loss of muscle tone in your fairings due to aging and swollen tonsils.
The symptoms of sleep apnea
Common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are snoring morning headaches, chronic daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability, and impaired concentration. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea may lead to complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease, irregular heartbeats called a rh yt, hm, IA stroke and diabetes.
How to treat sleep apnea?
Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to treat obstructive sleep apnea, including losing weight, sleeping on your side, not smoking, and avoiding substances that can make you sleepy such as alcohol and sedatives.
For mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, an oral appliance may keep your airway open. This device works by pulling your jaw forward and moving both your tongue and the roof of your mouth away from the back of your throat.
The most common and effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure or c pap machine. This machine pumps air, threw a tube into a mask that fits over your nose or both your nose and mouth. The mild air pressure of the c pap machine helps keep your airway open, enabling you to get a deep, restful sleep.