Increasing sleep problems

Sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart problems, if left untreated

Many Like the physical changes that occur when a child turns into a teenager, the same thing happens when the latter grows into an adult.

One such change is how snoring becomes a thing, and gets progressively worse, as at the loudest, as the years pass into later adulthood.

The majority of men snore, and some women do as well, and it is usually first noticed by family members, and then by partners, romantic or otherwise.

For many – except for snoring – this is a nuisance, especially at night when they are trying to sleep in the same room with someone who subconsciously mimics the sounds of a jet engine.

Herein lies the problem; It is seen as just a nuisance, nothing more, nothing less.

In fact, snoring is a telltale sign that something is wrong or getting worse with snoring, especially in the throat.

They may have sleep apnea.

silent killer

According to Dr. Jonathan John, a pulmonologist and sleep specialist, sleep apnea occurs when the upper airway muscles relax during sleep and compress the airway, preventing the patient from getting enough air.

At this point, breathing is “paused” for ten seconds or more, before their reflexes fire up and they begin breathing again, repeating the cycle of snoring and “choking” throughout the night.

This condition is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

On paper, it doesn’t look like much, but think about it.

When breathing stops, oxygen to the brain is cut off, causing slow – but sure – general system failure, such as placing undue stress on the heart and lungs, while at the same time disrupting sleep and rest.

Studies have shown that obstructive sleep apnea can lead to the early onset of high blood pressure and diabetes, leading to heart disease and stroke.

Those who show symptoms of “snoring, choking, quitting, rinsing and repeating” almost unanimously also say they feel tired after waking up for seven hours or more, and don’t know why.

Because they have OSA, and the fact that makes it a slow killer is that those who suffer from it, simply don’t realize they have it.

Risks and Prevention

It is worth noting that not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and not everyone who suffers from sleep apnea snores at night.

Other than snoring and choking, the clearest indication that something is wrong is the next morning, when the patient is experiencing unexplained tiredness, and if he or she has episodes of extreme sleep throughout the day.

Microsleep is the involuntary moment when someone “sleeps” for seemingly no reason.

These episodes can last up to 15 seconds, and they can happen at any time at all. For example, when driving, it is clear that this poses a danger to the driver and those around him.

Keep in mind that according to the Royal Malaysia Police, a total of 1,305 deaths between 2011 and 2021 were attributed to drivers sleeping on the road.

To correctly diagnose obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep study is usually done, and the evaluation usually looks like several factors, such as obesity (heavier individuals are more at risk), neck circumference, facial bone structure, etc.

Unfortunately, there is no simple solution when it comes to treatment. The most common is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, in which OSA patients are required to wear a mask before going to bed.

According to Dr. Iqbal Farim, Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon, the best treatment plan depends on each individual patient.

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