According to an article from Gulf News, approximately less than half a million people suffer from sleep apnea in the UAE- that’s a third of the country’s population. Sleep apnea can occur to anyone regardless of age.
Medical professionals point out that the body’s anatomical predisposition and genes can influence the occurrence of sleep apnea. Obesity is also a significant cause of this sleep disorder. Individuals who have sleep apnea may experience low quality or disruptive sleep.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects one billion people worldwide. This sleeping disorder often goes undiagnosed and can be a severe and life-threatening condition. While anyone can be affected by it, the prevalence of sleep apnea in men is higher.
This sleep condition causes an individual to have an obstructed breathing pattern- often stopping breathing for short intervals during sleep. This causes them to take in less oxygen, forcing the body to wake up gasping for air.
Snoring Vs. Sleep Apnea
ENT specialists at IBO point out that not all individuals who snore have sleep apnea. However, snoring is a crucial factor in diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when there are pauses in between snores that signify a loss of breath. On many occasions, OSA sufferers are unaware of their condition, often believing that they have a regular sleep cycle only to experience its harmful effects during the daytime.
Individuals who have OSA often have restless nights and experience excessive daytime sleepiness and lack of focus and concentration. There are also different degrees of OSA depending on its severity.
Here are some tips to help stop sleep apnea.
There is a correlation between obesity and sleep apnea. Lifestyle factors such as an unbalanced diet and poor sleep hygiene are associated with obesity and, consequently, OSA. According to ENT specialists, losing weight can help reduce sleep apnea. Of course, this should be accompanied by a healthy and active lifestyle.
Change Your Sleeping Position
ENT doctors suggest altering one’s sleep position to improve the sleep quality of OSA sufferers. A study indicated that OSA cases are often dependent on an individual’s sleeping position. People who sleep on their backs experience worse symptoms than those who sleep on their side.
Surprisingly, children who have OSA showed improved slumber when sleeping on their backs. It is best to consult and speak to ENT specialists to determine the best sleeping position for your sleep apnea.
Smoking and alcohol can have drastic effects on sufferers of OSA. Cigarette smoking can increase the swelling of the upper airway, further worsening inflammation. Similarly, alcohol can affect the muscle behind the throat that can obstruct airflow when sleeping. Limiting the intake of alcohol and cigarettes helps in alleviating OSA.
See An ENT Specialist
OSA does not only affect you but the people around you as well. Consulting with an OSA treatment expert will give you access to the support needed to improve your sleep. If left untreated, OSA can cause several other problems such as heart disease and heart failure. There are several treatment options available for OSA sufferers. ENT doctors can help you find the best one that suits your needs.