Sleep Apnea: Symptoms, treatments, and causes

Aug 18, 21

Sleep Apnea: Symptoms, treatments, and causes

Sleep Apnea is simply a sleep disorder. In this condition, the breathing of an individual is frequently interrupted during the sleep time. The breathing takes a pause for about 10 to 20 seconds and can happen from 5 to 100 times per hour. 

Sleep apnea can actually give you jolts during the sleep because it happens due to lack of oxygen. It can happen temporarily but it is more repetitive during the sleep time. So, whenever you breathe, chances are you will snort, or take a deep breath or in the worst-case scenarios, you will wake up suddenly choking or smothering.  

If you are dealing with sleep apnea, you must consult a doctor because if it remains untreated, it can lead to further complications including heart disease, mental disorders, risk of accidents while driving etc. 

Scroll down and read more about Sleep Apnea, its common symptoms, causes and treatments

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea 

Of course, it is little tough to identify sleep apnea on your own because most of them occur when are asleep. However, there are some common symptoms that you can observe or tell your partner to do so. 

Here are the common symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

  1. Frequent yet loud snoring 
  2. Choking, smothering, snorting during sleep 
  3. Sleepiness, fatigue, tiredness during daytime 
  4. Morning Headache 
  5. Insomnia (Difficulty in sleeping patterns) 
  6. Hypersomnia (Excessive daytime sleepiness) 
  7. Less attentive and focused

Causes & Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea 

While anyone can struggle with sleep apnea, but there are certain factors that cause the problem. Some of the major reasons are mentioned below: 

  • Excess Weight – If you’re obese, then it can increase the chances of sleep apnea. Your upper airway can be obstructed with fat deposits, and can lead to sleeping issues. 
  • Age Factor – Sleep apnea can majorly happen in older adults. Due to age factor and its risks, sleep apnea can occur.  
  • Family History – If there’s any family history of sleep apnea, then chances are it can happen or increase the risk. 
  • Smoking – According to a study, smokers are three times more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than those people who never smoked. Hence, if you’re a smoker and dealing with sleep apnea problem, then it can be the reason you’re struggling to sleep properly. 
  • Nasal Congestion/Sinusitis – Do you face difficulty in breathing through your nose? Is there any allergy? Or dealing with sinusitis? Of course, it can be one of the underlying issues that you are not able to take good sleep or having sleep apnea.
  • Medical Conditions – Sleep apnea can also occur due to severe/mild health conditions as it can lead to obstructive sleep apnea. Some of the common medical issues are heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal disorders, PCOS, strokes etc. that can cause sleep apnea. 

  • Treatments for Sleep Apnea 

    When sleep apnea is mild, it can be treated with conservative treatments. If you are overweight, you can work on your body weight to reduce the obstructive sleep apnea. You should avoid taking sleeping pills, alcohol or smoking to not to collapse during the sleep or prolong apnoeic periods. And, according to the problem like sinus or nasal congestion, you can treat sleep apnea. 

    However, there are some cases that require mechanical therapy to treat sleep apnea. Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy is one of the most common treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. PAP therapy prevents airway closure while in use, but sleep apnea can occur or return when PAP is stopped. There are different styles and devices that are used to treat sleep apnea. Some of them are mentioned below:

    1. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)

    CPAP machine is usually set at one single pressure and it’s one of the most commonly used PAP machines. 

    1. Auto CPAP  It uses a range of pressure that self-regulates depending upon the pressure requirements. 
    2. ASV – Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV), a type of non-invasive ventilation that’s used for patients with central sleep apnea. It keeps the airway open and delivers a mandatory breath when required. 
    3. Bi-Level PAP  It uses one pressure during inhalation and lower pressure during exhalation. 


    To Conclude, sleep apnea can result in major health issues if it’s left untreated. Hypertension, strokes, cardiovascular issues, obesity, heart attacks and so many underlying issues that can occur due to sleep apnea. 

    Sleep experts at Morpheus suggest you to go for the right treatment for sleep apnea.