Sleep Apnea: The Silent Sleep Disorder You Need to Know!

sleep apnea

Sleep is an important part of our lives, health and success. A lot of you will probably agree with me if I say that getting a good night’s sleep is all you need at the end of the day to  refresh your mind, body, and soul. 

But, are you familiar with sleeping disorders that affect nearly one billion people around the world, but have often remained undiagnosed because of the lack of awareness? In fact, there is a type of sleep disorder that does not get a lot of attention even now- sleep apnea. 

Have you ever heard of sleep apnea? I hadn’t until recently when I learned about Bappi Lahri’s tragic demise, a great singer-composer and iconic figure of disco successes in the late 1970s and 1980s. According to reports, the renowned singer died of obstructive sleep apnea.

That’s when I discovered how uneducated we are when it comes to life-threatening illnesses like this. So, in this article, let’s have a look at what some of the greatest pulmonologists of the best hospitals in the UAE have got to say about sleep apnea – a chronic illness. 

What Is Sleep Apnea? 

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition in which a person’s breathing continuously stops and starts r during sleep. While this may seem like something casual, it can have serious effects on your health. This can happen several times an hour, for just a few seconds each time. It often goes undiagnosed because many people who have sleep apnea don’t realize they have it. One of the most common reasons for excessive daytime sleepiness is sleep apnea. 

Three Different Types of Sleep Apnea

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This is the most common type of mild sleep apnea that usually develops when the muscles of the throat relax and block the airways while one is sleeping.
  1. Central sleep apnea: Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to provide the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  1. Complex sleep apnea: Complex sleep apnea can be characterized by the simultaneous occurrence of both obstructive and central sleep apnea. Treatment-emergent central sleep apnea is another term commonly used by doctors to define complex sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea: Common Indications and Symptoms

  1. Unusually loud snoring 
  2. Morning headaches
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Mood changes and irritability 
  5. Fast and shallow breathing issues
  6. Extreme tiredness and daytime sleepiness
  7. Sudden awakening with dry mouth and sore throat
  8. Abrupt awakenings during sleep with gasping and choking 
  9. Decreased libido

Doctors say that the major causes of sleep apnea are also associated with other serious health problems such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.

Few Lifestyle Remedies to Cure Sleep Apnea

  1. Maintain healthy body weight
  2. Try yoga and daily exercise 
  3. Avoid stress eating 
  4. Follow healthy eating habits
  5. Maintain a consistent sleeping pattern
  6. Avoid alcohol and smoking practices
  7. Be conscious about blood pressure levels 
  8. Avoid circumstances leading to sleep deprivation
  9. Use humidifiers and nasal sprays for comfortable breathing

The above mentioned are some of the traditional lifestyle activities that people with sleeping issues commonly engage in. But, when it comes to the medical condition of complicated sleep apnea,  this might be insufficient. As a result, the first and most important step should always be to recognize the symptoms and, if necessary, to get them diagnosed.

Now that you have got a better understanding of sleep apnea, its symptoms, and treatments, it would be easier for you to spread awareness about the same to your family and friends. 
It is usually a good idea to visit a pulmonologist if you find yourself in a situation where you appear to be exhibiting some of the symptoms of sleep apnea. The earlier you get diagnosed the better the outcomes are. There are many excellent hospitals in Abu Dhabi and across the UAE where you can find some of the best pulmonologists. All you have to do is choose your doctor, schedule an appointment and consult them at your earliest convenience.