Don’t be a Victim of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Taking care of your health must be your utmost priority at all times. Individuals should follow proper measures to manage any health conditions they may have developed over the years and work actively to control the signs. However, the catch here is that not all health conditions are easily identifiable.
Some problems like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) reveal themselves in the form of common signs like snoring, daytime sleepiness, nagging headaches, and night sweats. People fail to take the symptoms seriously, hence the condition becomes a silent killer. Also, due to the late diagnosis, treating the health problem in many patients becomes complicated, and in some cases, people even die because of it.
So, to raise your awareness about OSA and protect you from becoming its next victim, we have collected all the essential information about obstructive sleep apnea. Have a look!
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder. In this condition, the upper airway keeps collapsing involuntarily while resting. As a result, breathing stops and starts multiple times – anywhere between five and thirty times- in a single hour. The condition is caused because the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway, restricting the passage of air. In OSA, the patient snores and sometimes even wakes up from sleep gasping for oxygen. Other signs that he may show include chronic fatigue, lack of focus, dry mouth, forgetfulness, heavy snoring, and choking at night.
What factors are responsible for OSA?
Although obstructive sleep apnea is a common problem that can affect anyone, some factors increase its risk over others. So, if you have any of these conditions, make sure to take extra precautionary measures to stay safe-
- Excess Weight: Obese people are more likely to develop OSA than others. It is so because excess weight around the upper airway can obstruct breathing, leading to this condition.
- Older Age: As people mature and grow old, the risk of developing OSA increases. However, once you have crossed your 60s, it appears to level off.
- High Blood Pressure: Patients who have hypertension are more vulnerable to OSA as compared to others.
- Family History: If someone in your family is suffering from this condition, your probability of developing OSA increases.
- Chronic Nasal Congestion: It has been observed that OSA is twice as common in people suffering from consistent nasal congestion at night. It is probably because of the narrowing of the airways.
- Narrowed Airway: If you have inherited narrowed airways or your tonsils or adenoids are larger compared to others, then the risk of OSA rises.
What complications are associated with OSA?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical health condition. It makes it difficult for patients to live a normal life and even causes death in some cases. Some complications that are linked with OSA include-
- Increased Risk of Accidents: People who have OSA have difficulty in gaining a restful night of sleep. This makes it difficult for them to concentrate on the task at hand and leads to sleepiness while working or watching TV. It increases the risk of work-related accidents.
- Type 2 Diabetes: It has been revealed that many OSA patients have type 2 diabetes. It is primarily because both these conditions have obesity as a common risk factor.
- Cardiovascular Problems: OSA escalates the risk of irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) that can lead to low blood pressure. In people with underlying heart disease, multiple episodes of arrhythmias can cause sudden death.
How can you diagnose OSA?
If you want to avoid all this hassle, you can also opt for a home sleep test. ResMed delivers a compact test device at your doorstep through which you can monitor your sleep and gather data to ascertain whether you have obstructive sleep apnea.
People displaying signs of OSA are recommended to visit a sleep expert for a check-up. The health care provider will probably conduct a physical exam and check your mouth, throat, and neck. During the examination, he may also ask you questions about your sleep habits and whether or not you feel well-rested after sleeping through the night. If he suspects you have OSA, he will also ask you to take a polysomnography test that monitors your heart rate, brain waves, airflow, blood oxygen levels, breathing patterns, and muscle activity to reach a conclusion.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious health condition that affects a large part of the Indian population. The problem is caused because of the obstruction in the upper airway and leads to snoring, fatigue, and daytime sleepiness in individuals. So, if you have had sleep troubles lately and suspect OSA, then visit a sleep expert or take a home sleep test asap.