What is sleep apnea?
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Behind snoring usually there is a larger problem hidden, which is called the sleep apnea syndrome. It is the most common nocturnal disorder with insomnia, with a prevalence of 2-4% of the adult population, clearly increasing with age. In Spain it is estimated, that between 1,250,000 and 2.5 million patients affected by this disease, however only 5-9% of cases are diagnosed and treated.
Patients suffering from intermittent cessation of breathing during sleep due to the closure of the upper airway. These patients are big snorers and alternate cycles of snoring sounds with silence periods of more than 10 seconds long. Patients stop breathing, while they sleep, up to a hundred times in one night. These silences correspond to apneas, episodes, in which patients stop breathing until they resume breathing with sudden respiratory effort in the form of loud snoring, that brings on an unconscious arousal. All this activity goes for the patient unnoticed in the night and the spouses or partners of the bed have to be alert to this symptom picture. These episodes of asphyxia cause a drop in blood oxygen level (hypoxia), and a fragmentation of sleep patterns caused by successive unconscious arousals dueing to excessive drowsiness (chronic fatigue) of the patients, who complained during the day. This deficiency of oxygen generates a number of serious health consequences such as hypertension, myocardial infarct, heart failure ...
The pathophysiological consequences of the syndrome include neuropsychiatric disorders, metabolic, and cardiological disorders. The somnolence, memory loss, and alterations in mood, affect your personal life, work and social problems, not to mention the risk of a traffic accident at work or more worse falling asleep, while driving a vehicle. This clinical picture significantly compromises quality of life of patients, without treatment and the apnea becomes a health problem of first magnitude. The diagnosis of sleep apnea is very simple and is done through a safe sleep test, that will determine the severity of the disease to determine the most appropriate treatments. The Orthoapnea mandibular advancement prosthesis is an effective solution for the treatment of apnea, cause it is a comfortable made to measure splint, that the patient places during sleep, so that in a simple and efficient way the problem is resolved because the symptoms subside from the first day recovering healthful sleep and quality of life.
I snore, I can be sick ...
If you recognize these symptoms and suspect, that your partner or family may suffer from sleep apnea contact immediately your doctor for a sleep study.
Snoring - This symptom is present in virtually all cases. The hum of these patients is high and of variable intensity with silences, that correspond to periodic apneas.
Apnea - are episodes in which breathing stops, they are easily identified by the partner as they staged a worrying silence after the loud snoring. The patient stops snoring, because he stops breathing.
Daytime sleepiness - The patient complains of chronic fatigue and seems to be tired all day, as if he had not slept well, although he has rested all night.
Hypertension - In 25-60% of cases, these patients have hypertension attributable to other causes.