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  • Causes and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    The biggest cause of sleep apnea is the blockage of the airway by the relaxing throat muscles. When these muscles relax, the passage of air is narrowed, resulting in impaired breathing. When this lasts for more than ten seconds, the oxygen in the blood starts to lower, and carbon dioxide starts to increase. The brain has a way of correcting the breathing by waking the person up for a brief moment. The person usually doesn’t remember this episode.

    When this cycle repeats itself for several times every hour throughout the night, it prevents the person from getting the desired amount of sleep and causes excessive daytime sleepiness. Lack of concentration, tiredness, and lower levels of energy are some of the repercussions of sleep apnea. The sufferer often doesn’t remember the impaired sleep nor realize the problem.

    There are several symptoms that may hint at obstructive sleep apnea. Some of these are:

    Loud snoring: Most often, snoring that is loud enough to wake others up is caused by some kind of sleep apnea. Loud snoring should always be diagnosed and treated by a doctor to get to the root of the problem.

    Daytime sleepiness: While daytime sleepiness can be caused by a lot of other reasons, if it continues for an extended period it may be because of obstructive sleep apnea and lack of nighttime sleep.

     

    Waking up abruptly with a dry throat is another sign of snoring caused by sleep apnea.

    Nighttime sweating and lack of concentration during the day are also symptoms that may be associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Morning headaches may be present along with these symptoms.

    Mood swings, depression, and irritability can result from lack of proper nighttime sleep caused by obstructive sleep apnea.

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