Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Look at Snorers: Dangers of Sleep Apnea Part I

Sleep and sleep well, yet there are people who do not sleep well. They are the people who snore. Is it bad?

Actually, ignoring this is bad. Snore is an interruption of the pattern of breathing punctuated by sudden intake of breath. This produces a loud harsh grating sound known as a snore. 

Snore is bad for health
Snoring is an indication of poor breathing pattern during sleep. When you sleep your body undergoes a drop in the metabolic rate. Your body knows that there will be no physical activity and so breathing slows down. The body temperature drops. The blood circulation also adjusts to this new slower metabolic rate. 

Food gets digested easily when the metabolic activity slows down. Your old worn out cells and tissues are discarded and new ones begin to grow. Oxygen is required for all this. When you stop breathing, carbon dioxide stops being sent out. It accumulates in the blood. Oxygen intake slows down, thereby decreasing the amount of growth activity that is possible. 

Diseases that could affect the patient
This leads to a series of oxygen deficiency related diseases including the following.
                 a) Diabetes mellitus
                 b) Elevated blood pressure
                 c) Memory loss
                 d) Congestive heart disease

Snoring is thus an indication of serious diseases that could affect the patient. It is better to take action immediately. 

Signs of this disease
Patients will experience one or more of these symptoms.
1)    Loss of appetite
2)    Irritability
3)    Diabetes
4)    Memory loss
5)    Does not complete work that is started
6)    Urinates frequently during the night
If these symptoms are shown, the person must begin tests to determine the severity of the disease. This can be done at the home of the patient or at a clinic near the house.

Tests for assessing severity of sleep apnea
Physician will conduct observations at night to determine how severe the disease is. This will involve observing the patient and conducting polysomnography studies. These will record events during the night and keep record of all variables such as room temperature, amount of humidity and wind flow along with position of limbs and medical conditions of the patient.

If the number of events recorded is below 5 per hour, then the patient is not suffering from sleep apnea. If events are between 5 and less than 15, the symptoms are mild. If the value falls between 15 and is less than 30, the patient has moderate sleep apnea. If however the patient has more than 30 events during the night then the patient has severe sleep apnea.

Beginning treatment
Once the severity of the disease has been assessed, the consulting physician will begin treatment. Treatment would involve one or more of these steps.
a)    Lifestyle changes
b)    Counseling
c)    Medication
d)    Use of devices

Sleep apnea can be treated fully. One has only to take the steps at the proper time. In the next article we will see how and why patients respond or need treatment. You need to understand that sleep apnea is fully treatable and people have recovered completely.

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