Sleep Apnea

How are OSA and Snoring Different?

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OSA Vs Snoring

Occasional snoring is a normal thing; you could pass out from exhaustion or go to bed with a cold and start breathing heavily, and within the hour, start snoring audibly. This is not cause for alarm, but if it gets out of hand the way it does with most Americans, you would be dealing with a nightly habit that was not just annoying, but also dangerous in the long run. Snoring can lead to many different disorders as well as mask their presence – the symptoms of the latter can often get mistaken for snore-induced fatigue.

OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea is one of those problems that can manage to stay hidden for a very long time. Around 20 million people in the country suffer from this, and it has been shown to have links to other health issues like heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

How are OSA and Snoring Different?

It is not uncommon for snoring and sleep apnea to be confused for one another. The main thing to remember is that not all snorers have sleep apnea, even though untreated OSA sufferers snore as a rule. Snoring is a noise caused by the type of labored breathing that causes the soft tissue at the back of the throat to vibrate. This owes to blockage in the nose, mouth, or throat, any of which can disrupt normal breathing, which can be overcome through the use of a snore guard. The following are some of the causes these blocks can be attributed to.

  • Allergies
  • Colds
  • A deviated septum
  • Alcohol
  • Airway obstructions
  • Poor muscle tone

Snoring serves as a symptom of sleep apnea, but is otherwise a distinctly different issue. Sleep apnea acts up the form of the person pausing while breaching, sometimes for as long as 10 seconds at a stretch. This disturbs good sleep and can even preclude it, consequently inviting a long list of health issues like difficulty concentrating, daytime drowsiness, anxiety, and depression.

Diagnosing OSA

It is possible by yourself to figure out whether you have OSA, but the more definitive approach is to go see a doctor. Most regular doctors would either check you themselves or recommend seeing a sleep specialist. The following would be checked.

  • Symptoms
  • Current physical health
  • Medical history
  • Sleep study results

A sleep study is an account of how your body responds when something happens while you are asleep. These record your vitals to figure out how severe the condition is, and the specialist proceeds based on the results it gives.

The Relationship between Sleep and Eating Disorders

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Anti Snoring Remedies

There is a close relationship between proper sleep and eating disorders. In fact, many people are diagnosed with a number of sleep-related eating disorders. Usually, these types of disorders are characterized by the abnormal eating patterns of a person at night. Two of the most common type of sleep-related eating disorders are NS-RED and NES. In the case of Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (NS-RED) patients, they will be unaware of their binge eating episodes, unlike those who suffer from regular eating disorders. One of the main symptoms in this case is that the patients tend to eat food unconsciously during their sleep; such people often sleepwalk to the kitchen and eat food. So, people suffering from regular NS-RED symptoms, are more likely to gain weight. Additionally, the chances of developing type-two diabetes are more in such people.

Another type of sleep-related eating disorder is Night Eating Syndrome (NES). It is characterized by the binge eating of a person at night with complete awareness. In this case, the sufferers will not be able to sleep well unless they eat. The recurrent awakenings from sleep and the necessity of eating food in order to sleep back is one of the main symptoms of NES. Other than this, no appetite for breakfast and eating more food post-dinner are also some of the common symptoms that point towards NES.

The Relationship between Sleep and Disordered Eating in Obese People

There are many biological responses that get triggered in the body of a person if he is deprived of a proper sleep. Normally, there will be an increase in the amount of Ghrelin and Cortisol hormones released and a decrease in the amount of Leptin hormone produced in this case. The Ghrelin hormone makes a person feel that he is hungry and the Cortisol hormones play a major role in increasing the stress level of a person; the Leptin hormone is ‘I am full’ hormone. Here, people will feel unsatisfied even after they consume a full course meal. As a result, people who are deprived of proper sleep tend to eat more amount of food in an impulsive manner. Additionally, they are more likely to choose calorie-rich food, which results in weight gain.

Snoring may also trigger sleep disorders. In most cases, snorers will not be able to sleep well at night and hence, they tend to eat more so that they feel keyed up. In order to tackle this issue instantly, it is recommended to use any of the snoring aids with proper guidance. It is reported that sleep-related eating disorders are more prevalent in patients who are already the victims of Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and Binge Eating Disorder (BED). In the case of BED, patients eat a huge quantity of food at night that often results in sleeplessness and fatigue. This may cause a person to exhibit daytime grazing and overeating. Actually, this overeating is his strategy to feel energized throughout the day.

These factors explain the relationship between a poor sleep quality and eating disorders. Unfortunately, most healthcare professionals overlook this correlation; when a person report sleeping disorders, they usually prescribe medication without checking whether or not the patients are suffering from an eating disorder. As a result, the victims will not be able to improve their medical as well as behavioral issues. According to a recent study, addressing eating disorders as part of treating sleep issues not only targets fatal health problems but also alleviates daytime fatigue.

Sleeping Disorders Associated with BN and BED

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Snoring Related Issues

Sleep-related eating disorders in a person may lead to depression and weight gain. Hence, it must be treated on time. Some of the most common sleep disorders that are associated mainly with Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder are given below.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

The chances of OSA are more in people who are obese. In addition, people who snore regularly may also develop obstructive sleep apnea. In this condition, the soft tissues and muscles at the backside of the tongue falls back resulting in an interrupted breathing pattern known as apnea. As a result of these apneas, patients tend to wake up regularly at night, noticeably with a loud gasp.

Apneas may last for 10 to 60 seconds and may occur around a hundred times a night depending on the intensity of the disorder in a person. This lack of sleep may result in daytime sleepiness, lack of concentration, eating disorders, etc. Hence, it is really crucial to take adequate treatments. Usually, doctors may prescribe using sleep apnea mouthpieces in most cases.

Sleep-Related Eating Disorders (SRED)

People suffering from SRED tend to consume food while they are asleep. The sad part is that they are doing this unconsciously, and hence, they will not be able to recollect it later. In this condition, the victims may eat the type of food that they usually avoid during daytime or they might even consume some inedible food.

Most of the SRED patients diet during daytime and as a result, they will not be able to control their hunger pangs at night and end up eating an enormous quantity of food. According to a recent study, women are more vulnerable to SRED; it is reported that around 5% of women in the world population is affected by SRED. Out of these, 15% of victims are diagnosed with eating disorders such as BN and BED.

How OSA Relates to Arrhythmia

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Snoring Related Issues

Arrhythmia is one of the many serious health issues, which result from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It ranks right up there along other heart conditions like non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, heart block, and atrial fibrillation. Heart arrhythmia or cardiac dysrhythmia is a scary condition because of the fact that along with stroke, it causes the most number of sudden deaths during sleep.

What is Arrhythmia?

This heart condition involves a problem with the rhythm or rate of the affected person’s heartbeat. In patients who already have OSA, this rhythm tends to deteriorate when nighttime respiration is obstructed by episodes of apnea.

An OSA episode can last for up to several minutes, during which the person stops breathing. People who experience more than one episode in a single night are prone to have problem with their blood oxygen level.

  • When the oxygen level in the blood drop, heart rhythm problems can ensue, as can a rise in pressure to the right side of the person’s heart.
  • If the oxygen saturation goes down drastically in the night (such a condition is called hypoxemia), it raises the risk of abnormal heart rhythm.
  • CPAP, besides helping to stop snoring at night, has been found effective in treating patients with abnormal heart rhythm.

Your Heart and Sleep State

Sleep states heavily influence your heart, as well as how oxygenated your body stays. This has to do with changing brain activity while you cycle between NREM and REM sleep. Sleep apnea patients exhibit problem during REM sleep, characterized by the big disturbances in nerve activity. This can affect any pause in the rhythm of the heart.

Healthy people do not usually have a problem here, but a person with heart disease or OSA is in danger of being beset by cardiac dysrhythmia during REM sleep.

Improving your Heart

People with OSA can take some general measures to bring down the severity of arrhythmia and OSA, although recovery will not begin at once. These can also set them in a healthy lifestyle, which is a good thing from any perspective.

  • Undergo CPAP therapy, or any alternative therapy, as a way to avoid OSA episodes.
  • Reduce weight. This is a no-brainer on any given day, unless you are already on the underweight side.
  • Cut down on sedatives and alcohol intake, because either can lead to pharyngeal collapse, and that can lead to airway blockage when you are asleep.

Complications Related to Sleep Apnea

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Sleep Apnea Related Complications

Sleep apnea is a serious health disorder where breathing repeatedly stops for a while when the person is asleep. The main symptoms of this disorder are loud snoring, abrupt awakening, morning headache, insomnia, hypersomnia, irritability, and sore throat. There are three main types of sleep apnea: Central Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and Complex Sleep Apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax; Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain does not send information to the muscles, which control breathing; while Complex Sleep Apnea happens when someone has both the apnea mentioned above. Given below are the complications you may experience if you have sleep apnea.

Fatigue

People having sleep apnea may experience daytime fatigue, irritability, and drowsiness because of repeatedly awakening from sleep. One may find difficult to concentrate or may fall asleep while working, watching TV, or even while driving.

Surgery Complications

After major surgery, people with sleep apnea may be more prone to breathing problems when they are sedated and lying on their backs. So it is advised to notify the doctor about the problem before surgery.

Metabolic Syndrome

Sleep apnea patients may experience some metabolic syndromes like high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, and an increased waist circumference.

Liver Problems

For those who have sleep apnea, it is likely that they may have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers might show signs of scarring as well. This condition is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop in people who have sleep apnea when compared to those who do not have the sleep disorder.

Heart Problems

Due to a sudden drop in blood oxygen level during sleep apnea, blood pressure increases and causes strain in the cardiovascular system. This means that the risk of stroke is high for those having Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Behavioral Disorder

Sleep apnea may result in a decrease in concentration, vigilance, attention, visuospatial and verbal memory, and even lead to dementia in older people. Children diagnosed with sleep issues may also experience learning disabilities.

Stroke

Stroke in patients having sleep apnea is said to occur mostly between 06:00 am and 08:00 am, as it is the time when a person wakes up normally. A deprived sleep may be the reason for that.

Obesity

Obesity leads to narrowing and sporadic obstruction of the airways, which in turn, worsens snoring and sleep apnea. Excessive weight gain also leads to overstretching of the diaphragm or less contractility of chest wall muscles, which all further complicate the health issue.

Different Types of Snorers and the Available Treatment Options

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Types Of Snoring

Snoring is a condition that is caused due to obstructed air movement during breathing. According to a recent survey, nearly 90 million Americans suffer from snoring. Shockingly, snoring can be the sign of serious issues such as heart disorders, BP, respiratory disorders, sleep apnea, etc., although many affected individuals take it very lightly.

To address the snoring problem properly, you must be aware of the types of snoring. Below are the different types of snoring and the methods to alleviate it.

Nasal Snoring

Nasal snoring is caused because of the blocked air passage through the nose. This blockage happens mainly because of allergies, cold, and flu. All of these will make the inhaled air to pass through the throat forcibly that creates a vibration of the soft tissues on its way, resulting in the harsh snoring sound.

A deviated septum too can cause nasal snoring. A septum is a thin bridge that separates the left and right nasal cavities. In deviated septum, the bridge will be inclined to one side resulting in restricted airflow through that nasal cavity. This can be the result of either a congenital defect or injuries. Besides, deviated symptom hardly shows any symptoms and hence most of the people are unaware of this.

Tongue Snoring

Tongue snoring is caused when our tongue restricts the airflow to the lungs. This is caused when the tongue falls back into the throat while sleeping as the tissues and muscles of the mouth usually relax then. The condition worsens when you consume alcohol or use any relaxant drugs before bedtime, as they make the mouth palates to relax more. Besides, sleeping on the back may also lead to tongue snoring.

Mouth Snoring

Mouth snoring is caused due to obstructive airflow while breathing through the mouth. When you breathe through your mouth, the air hits back at the throat head creating vibrations in the soft palates that causes the snoring sound. This occurs mainly when you sleep on your back or when you keep your mouth open while sleeping.

Treatment

The primary treatment for all kinds of snoring is to stay away from all kind of dust and other allergens including pet fur and pollens. You can also use a mandibular advancement device that brings your lower jaw front and keeps the airway wider for a free flow of air during sleep.

Note that it is essential to diagnose the root cause of the snoring issue to find an effective remedy for the problem. Consulting with a specialist is always a better move when compared to taking any countermeasures on your own. Although making some changes in your lifestyle can help, medically proven methods to alleviate snoring include the use of anti snoring mouth guards, chinstraps, CPAP machine, anti snoring pillows, etc. However, it is still recommended to consult a doctor before using any anti snoring aids.

The Health Risks Related to Snoring

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Snoring Health Risks

Snoring is a sleeping disorder caused due to vibration of the respiratory structures as a result of obstructed air movement during breathing. This can also be the sign or symptom of some serious health issues and can be fatal if you left it undiagnosed or untreated.

Snoring not only just creates loud and unpleasant noises, it can also cause many health problems ranging from heart diseases, stroke, and reduced sexual function, to even early death. Following are some of the serious health risks related to snoring.

Mental Health Issues

Snoring or sleep apnea results in sleep deprivation. This lack of sleep can cause crankiness, dizziness, and anxiety disorder in most of the affected people. In fact, according to a recent survey, people with snoring problem encounter major depression and anxiety symptoms. Moreover, there are more chances for mood swings in snorers because of their poor sleep patterns.

Complications in Pregnancy

Snoring can be fatal for pregnant women, especially in their last trimester. It is a major sign of their weight gain during the pregnancy period. More than that, it also indicates the chances of fetal complications. It is necessary that the mother should get proper rest for the adequate nourishment and well-being of the fetus as well as herself, but that would be impossible with snoring.

Heart Problems

Snoring can also result in various health diseases, and it is seen especially affecting the cardiovascular system. It can aggravate coronary artery diseases and high blood pressure, which can eventually lead to heart attack. In fact, studies suggest that the chances of having heart attacks are twice in people with sleep apnea. However, clinical researches show that heart-related risks can be reduced if you treat your sleep apnea with an anti snoring mouth guard.

Excessive Weight Gain

Sleep apnea and snoring is a major cause of weight gain and it goes the other way around too. Although it is not necessary to be overweight in general for you to be a snorer, snoring induced lack of sleep will surely lead to excessive weight gain. It is the excess fat around the neck and throat, which obstructs the airway when breathing during sleep and causes snoring. So to address the root cause of the condition, you need to keep your body weight in check.

Nocturia

Nocturia is the condition of getting up to urinate multiple times during the sleep. This is mostly caused due to the loss of control over the bladder and is common for both men and women. This is also related to snoring because the chances for you to consume water are more if you wake up many times during your sleep, which in turn results in Nocturia.

Sleep Apnea and Shift Work Disorder

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Shift Work Disorder

Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound due to obstructed air movement while breathing during sleep. Having said that, in most of the cases, snoring may lead to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is the worst case of the sleep disorder.

In OSA, one will find it really hard to breathe properly and the brain and the rest of the body may not get enough oxygen. There are 3 types of sleep apnea – Obstructive, Central, and Mixed, and the Obstructive type is the most common sleeping disorder among them.

In modern society, almost everybody is employed and most of them are doing shift works, which could be a great concern for your health. Furthermore, a new study states that around 20 million Americans are deprived of proper sleep because of their hectic work schedule. This means that you are disturbing the biological clock of your body, which will cause many consequences including serious sleep disorders. This can be harmful to your health as well as your career, as you could be thoughtless and may run into accidents at work due to sleep deprivation.

Anything that interferes with the amount and quality of sleep as the shift work does can worsen sleep apnea. In addition, scientists have observed that night shift work significantly worsens the relevance of sleep apnea events and the worst case is the fast rotating shifts. Unsurprisingly, patients with mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea can tolerate a short time sleep deprivation, whereas for the ones with more severe disorder, the frequency of apneic events may increase with sleep or wakefulness rhythm disturbance.

A recent study using daytime and nighttime Polysomnograph showed that shift workers experience more frequent breathing pauses while sleeping and higher oxygen de-saturation levels. Both measures showed that shift workers had more severe symptoms of sleep apnea. This is quite alarming considering the fact that such sleep disorders can get worse with time.

Besides worsening sleep apnea, night shift work or the fast rotating shift work, which results in the inversion of sleep-wake schedules, has many other side effects as well, such as:

  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Gastrointestinal disorder
  • Cardiovascular disturbance
  • Diabetes
  • Breast cancer
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Hypertension
  • Myocardial infarction

In short, shift work and sleep apnea are the worst possible combination. So the best way to counter any severe effects of shift work or sleep apnea would be to treat the underlying issue. In case of OSA, there are many snoring remedies, which can effectively treat the condition and offer you a good night’s sleep. Consult with a doctor today to plan a course of action and regain a healthy body and mind.

The Relation between Sleep Apnea and Cardiovascular Diseases

Many of the physiological changes in the body can result in the development of certain sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea. These can negatively affect the sleep cycles that causes numerous problems associated with the physical and mental side of your body. A healthy sleep is of high importance in order to replenish the energy levels and for maintaining normal mental functioning. Serious sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can severely affect sleep thereby causing many problems to the vital organs in the body.

The cardiovascular system is the most affected region in the body due to sleep apnea, as the sleep disorder can obstruct the breathing process in the form of long pauses. This causes insufficient oxygen reaching the vital cardiovascular systems, which can result in severe damage to the heart and blood vessels. The enormous amount of strain put on the body during sleep apnea can disrupt the state of rest in the body.

Heart disease is now common among many individuals. It is caused due to a range of factors such as unhealthy eating habits, lifestyle, and the genetic factors. Moreover, any damages or obstructions in the major blood vessels to the heart can cause the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. However, most people underestimate the fact that sleep apnea and heart diseases are closely related. By understanding this, one can take the necessary precautions to prevent further complicating of the sleep disorder and avoid the chances of cardiovascular diseases.

Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

Sleep apnea and heart disease are closely related because the sleep disorder and snoring can result in the overstraining of the cardiac and respiratory systems. This will cause severe damage to these systems that can be life threatening if proper treatments are not given. Studies even indicate that the shortness of breath that occurs in sleep apnea can result in a quick cardiac arrest in an individual.

There are numerous symptoms of heart diseases induced by sleep apnea. Some of them are,

  • Rhythm variations of the heart
  • Loud snoring
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Excessive thirst
  • Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder

These and many other symptoms are indicative of a sleep apnea-induced heart disease. Therefore, you must consult with a doctor when experiencing any of these symptoms. Doing so will enable a proper treatment option for you depending on the severity of the disorder.

Treatment Methods

One of the most effective treatments that most medical professionals recommend is the usage of anti snoring devices. These devices can help to prevent both snoring and sleep apnea by aligning the jaws and throat in their proper position. Besides that, doctors may also recommend some major lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, avoiding caffeine intake, and setting up strict sleep timetable to fight sleep apnea and related issues.