Obstructive Sleep Apnea – What Is It?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a type of sleep apnea and often the most dangerous one which is caused due to an obstruction in the patient’s airways. Patients often experience repetitive breaths while undergoing obstructive sleep apnea because of the rapid decrease in the saturation level oxygen. Another major characteristic of OSA is that the patient has trouble breathing despite having woken up.
Causes of Obstructed Sleep Apnea
There are some notable and persistent causes of Obstructed Sleep Apnea. These causes include:
- Natural conditions such as recurrent tonsillitis, old age and increased soft tissue and decreased muscle tone. These conditions cause damage to the airways, hence causing an obstruction for the passageway of breath.
- Craniofacial syndromes which lead to deformation of the facial and cranial structure are often the causes of OSA. These deformities can prove to be a hindrance for the passage of air for the patient. These might include pharyngeal airspace, cleft palate deformities and nasopharyngeal deformities.
- The biggest and most obvious cause of OSA is obesity. Overweight people tend to suffer from sleep apnea especially Obstructed Sleep Apnea. The main reason behind this is the fact that excess weight causes fat and cholesterol to accumulate in their airways, hence constricting the passage required for air to pass.
Deviated Septum – A Cause of OSA?
Deviated Septum while being a significantly uncomfortable condition can often be a cause of OSA. The main reason for this is the fact that a deviated septum on its own causes a lot of trouble for nasal breathing. While a person sleeps, this disruption in breath becomes more rapid which leads to OSA. Nasal allergies which might arise out of a deviated septum might also lead to OSA.
Risk Factors – Can OSA Effect A Healthy Person?
OSA can in fact affect a seemingly healthy person if they have certain risk factors. There are various risk factors involved which make a patient prone to Obstructive Sleep Apnea. These risk factors range up use of slow toxins such as alcohol and sedatives to decrease in muscular tone due to old age. Let’s take a closer look at all the risk factors of Obstructed Sleep Apnea.
- Premature Decrease in Muscular Tone
- Traumatic Injuries
- Men are more prone to OSA due to differential levels of Progesterone than women.
- Women after menopause and during pregnancy are at a risk of developing OSA.
- Frequent use of alcohol and tobacco in the form of smoking can put patients at risk.
Side Effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
There are various side effects which might arise out of suffering from sleep apnea. These side effects while might seem insignificant, can cause to cause lasting damage.
- Patients who suffer from sleep apnea often find themselves snoring at night. This is mainly due to the fact that the obstructions in breath cause them to struggle for breath hence causing the emittance of snoring sounds.
- Patients who suffer from sleep apnea might also suffer from day time fatigue, laziness and drowsiness from having a disturbed sleep.