Sleep apnoea is a very common sleep disorder. Sleep apnoea can affect you by blocking your airflow as in obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). If you stop breathing entirely this form of sleep apnoea is called central sleep apnoea or CSA and is a dysfunction of your nervous system that regulates breathing. If you experience a mixture of both, you have a form of sleep apnoea called mixed sleep apnoea. In either case, you may not be aware that you even have this condition and most times it is discovered by a family member and is a chronic condition.
OSA is the most common type of sleep apnoea. While you’re sleeping your muscles relax allowing the soft tissue in your mouth to collapse and block your airway, causing intermittent breathing or periods when breathing becomes shallow. These events vary in length and occurrence. In many instances after an individual has experienced a breathing episode it will be followed by loud snoring, gasping, or choking sounds. This can distract from normal sleep and the effects of this may be experienced the following day with sleepiness or a feeling of tiredness.
Sleep apnoea is more common in men than women and it can affect everybody including children. Children that experience sleep apnoea also exhibits hyperactivity or can be difficult to deal with. Treating sleep apnoea is very important to your health and well being and if it goes untreated it can cause excessive fatigue, daytime sleepiness as well as morning headaches and memory loss. This can also be a threat to your health and safety in the workplace. Sleep apnoea also raises your risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and erectile dysfunction. Severe cases of sleep apnoea that go untreated can even run the risk of death.