Original Article By: Cristiano Antonino
Summarized By: Neurobit
It is estimated that a significant number of sleep disorders are caused by breathing difficulties during nighttime rest. One of the most prevalent disorders is sleep apnea, which involves interruptions in the respiratory flow that can last for several seconds. Although this may seem like a minor issue, it can lead to significant discomfort, particularly in children. However, detecting sleep apnea can be difficult as the individual is asleep during the episodes and may not even realize it. It is often a partner or someone close to the individual who first notices the symptoms.
The main symptoms of sleep apnea in adults include fatigue, lack of concentration, and excessive daytime sleepiness, while in children, symptoms may include hyperactivity, irritability, and sleepiness. These symptoms can be associated with others such as snoring, which is a common symptom of sleep apnea but not sufficient for a diagnosis on its own. If a suspicion of sleep apnea arises, the individual should consult their general practitioner, who will refer them for specialist examination.
There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. Obstructive apnea is caused by physical obstructions such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids, a deviated nasal septum, or excess fatty tissue in the trachea. Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, is caused by the brain not sending the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
The first step in treating sleep apnea is to get a proper diagnosis, which can be done through polysomnography or a simple nocturnal monitoring test. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the treatment will vary based on the cause of the apnea. For example, if the apnea is caused by excess weight and poor nutrition, the individual may need to follow a specific diet and exercise regimen. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove obstructions such as tonsils or adenoids. Additionally, breathing aids may be prescribed by the treating physician.
Antonino, C. (2023, February 13). Polysomnography: understanding sleep apnoea problems. Emergency Live. Retrieved February 13, 2023, from https://www.emergency-live.com/health-and-safety/polysomnography-understanding-and-solving-sleep-apnoea-problems/