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What is Apnea?

What is apnea? 

A sleep disorder that affects something around 30% to 35% of the population Sleep apnea affects directly the person's breathing. Many people think that this disorder is characterized mainly by loud and continuous snoring, but this is not true. The main symptom is in breathing: they are interruptions that are repeated at least five times in a 60-minute period. 

It is a serious, complex sleep disorder that can greatly impact your health and quality of life. Sleep apnea has different symptoms, different risk factors and consequences that can be very serious, but the good news is that it has treatment and cure. We are telling you everything you have to know in the following article. 

Sleep apnea X blood oxygen concentration 

It is quite true that a person affected by Sleep apnea can experience successive and loud snoring, but the noises are a cover for serious problems such as gagging, or small pauses in the air intake, which can even decrease the concentration of oxygen in the blood. 

That is the reason this sleep disorder can be quite serious. A reduction in oxygen in the blood can overactive the nervous system, raising the rate of heartbeat and stimulating the concentration of blood vessels. Result Sleep apnea can turn into a determinant risk factor for high blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmia. 

And there's more: this sleep disorder can favor the accumulation of abdominal fat and resistance to insulin, which is the hormone that drives glucose into cells, generating energy - which means, perfect conditions for the development of type 2 diabetes. 

Obstructive apnea, the most common type 

The most common type of the condition is obstructive sleep apnea, when air stops flowing into the airways due to a temporary block caused by the relaxation of the muscles of the throat of the patient. 

Another known but rarer type is central Sleep apnea The main feature of this type of sleep apnea is caused by a change in the region of the brain that controls breathing. 

Symptoms of sleep apnea 

The following are the main signs and symptoms of Sleep apnea

Feeling of suffocation when sleeping; 

Panting breath; 


Morning headache; 

Drowsiness throughout the day; 

Difficulty concentrating; 

Restless sleep. 

What are the risk factors? 

The Sleep apnea Sleep apnea has several risk factors, but the main ones are: obesity, excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, shortened lower jaw (the tongue, in this case, is pushed back, covering the throat), exaggerated use of sedatives, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, tumors and the habit of sleeping on one’s back. 

How to diagnose sleep apnea? 

If the patient affected by this sleep disorder dorme com alguém, seu relato será determinante para o diagnóstico. Mas a confirmação deve ser feita por meio de um exame chamado polissonografia, que será solicitado por um médico do sono. 

A very effective way of diagnosing Sleep apnea is through actigrafiaa test performed using an actimeter, a kind of wristwatch that is placed on the non-dominant arm of the patient, which records, minute by minute, the patient's movement during sleep sleep disorderModern actimeters, such as those sold by Condor Instrumentshave temperature and luminosity sensors, among others, that help for a more complete and assertive analysis of the circadian rhythm. person’s. 

Is sleep apnea treatable? 

Yes! Sleep apnea can be treated with nostril dilators. Patients who have short jaw may use custom-made orthodontic appliances that project the bone and lower the tongue, facilitating the passage of air. 

Another possibility is the use of a mechanism called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), a kind of mask that covers the nose and mouth, pushing air into the respiratory airways. In severe cases, surgery may be indicated.  

The use of a sleep diary may also help those with Sleep apneaIt is recommended that the patient seek a sleep doctor as soon as possible, as they are the professional indicated to treat sleep disorders.