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Sleep Apnea – a potentially serious condition

21 February 2015 No Comment

People with sleep apnea stop breathing for short periods of time while they are asleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and is caused when your throat muscles relax, blocking your airway.
The other type, central sleep apnea, is caused when your brain doesn’t send the right signals to the muscles that control your breathing.
Some people have a combination of the two types, called complex sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition and should be treated.
The symptoms of sleep apnea include:
* Loud, irregular snoring, then quiet periods of at least ten seconds when breathing stops.
* Daytime sleepiness and always feeling tired
* Morning headaches
* Sore throat, dry mouth and coughing
* Feeling depressed, moody and irritable
* Not being able to concentrate or remember
* Possible impotence or high blood pressure.
Physical conditions, such as being overweight or having large tonsils and adenoids can also cause sleep apnea.
Drugs, such as alcohol, sleeping pills or heart medications, can sometimes trigger apnea.
The most effective treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) that uses a machine and mask to blow air through your airway to keep it open.
Dental appliances that push the lower jaw forward and keep the tongue from blocking the airway can be used.
In severe cases, surgery may be needed, but often sleep apnea can be managed with CPAP and lifestyle changes, like losing weight.
Contact the Lifestyle Sleep Centre on 012 664 1880 for further details or if you suspect you may have Sleep Apnea.

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