What is sleep APNEA?

It is a serious health problem.

In many cases, airflow is impeded in the pharynx as the muscles responsible for keeping the airway open become relaxed. This leads to a vibration of the soft tissues, which causes snoring and partial or total obstruction of the airway (Fig. 2). The decreased level of oxygen in the blood sends a warning signal to the brain, leading to numerous awakenings or interruptions in sleep throughout the night.

Sleep is a biological necessity that allows our body to restore its core physical and psychological functions. As sleep deprivation increases, there is a noticeable deterioration in your body’s daily functioning.

Apnea is a serious sleep disorder. It is defined as the total cessation or absence of airflow through the nose and mouth (or a reduction of over 90% of airflow) that lasts at least 10 seconds.

Chronic sleep deprivation or poor quality sleep produces physiological changes on various levels, affecting metabolic regulation, memory consolidation, emotion regulation and immune response.

Fig. 1. Open airway
Fig. 2. Closed airway

In general, oxygen deficiency produces a series of symptoms such as general fatigue, attention problems, hypersomnolence, etc., and it increases the risk of diseases like hypertension, type XNUMX diabetes, heart attack, acid reflux and depression. Individuals suffering from hypersomnolence and mood swings are affected on a personal, social and professional level, and they are at risk of being involved in work- or traffic-related accidents due to the increased likelihood that they will fall asleep.

Apnea treatment can be addressed in several ways: improve lifestyle (lose weight, reduce alcohol and sedative use, sleep in a certain position), upper airway surgery (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, tracheotomy, tongue resections, orthognathic maxillofacial surgery), medical treatment such as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), pharmacological treatment and oral devices.

Chronic sleep deprivation or poor quality sleep produces physiological changes on various levels, affecting metabolic regulation, memory consolidation, emotion regulation and immune response.

  • Snoring, dry mouth
  • Hypersomnia, restless sleep
  • Excessive tiredness during the day
  • Headache, weakness, clumsiness
  • Anxiety Depression
  • Lack of concentration and attention
  • Acid reflux
  • Irritability
  • Memory impairment
  • Muscle pains
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Impotence / Loss of libido
  • Weight gain, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia
  • Diabetes
  • Heart attack, high risk for cardiovascular disease
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