Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea – A Complete Guide

Sleep apnea is a life-threatening sleep disorder that is commonly characterised by loud snoring at night. This condition can make one gasp for breath while sleeping, which makes this sleep disorder a serious one. Although it can affect anybody, according to a medical study,  sleep apnea is much more rampant in men as compared to women. Still, overweight or post-menopausal women are also prone to it.

The best way to manage this disorder is to consult your physician, and at his behest, you can also get in touch with a compound chemist like the Flinders discount chemist to get medicines tailor-made to your requirement, at the best price.

Let us try to understand sleep apnea in greater detail. 

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea 

The symptoms of sleep apnea are hard to miss. Having said that, it is never the patient but the person who sleeps next to them who identifies the symptoms 

  • Loud snoring while sleeping. 
  • Repeated gasping or choking in the middle of the night.
  • Feeling fatigued after waking up in the morning. 
  • Feeling sleepy during the day.
  • Waking up with a dry mouth.
  • Irritability and headaches due to lack of sleep 
  • An inability to focus 
  • Night time sweating 
  • Frequent urination at night.

These symptoms are not so profound in children who have this sleep disorder, and therefore, patients need to carefully monitor the sleep patterns of their children to rule out sleep apnea. 

Types of Sleep Apnea 

There are essentially three types of sleep apnea. 

Obstructive sleep apnea

It is the most common type of sleep apnea, which is attributed to the relaxation of your throat muscles at the back. When these muscles relax, your airway passage narrows down, and breathing becomes difficult. When your brain senses that, it wakes you up briefly, which explains the choking or gasping. You can have numerous nighttime wakings if you have this condition. 

Central Sleep apnea

In this type of sleep apnea, your brain cannot send breathing signals to your body for a short period. This is a rare type of sleep apnea but more severe.

Complex sleep apnea syndrome

This is a rare type of sleep apnea where a person 

suffers from both Obstructive and Central sleep apnea. 

Let us now try to understand what causes sleep apnea

A number of factors can cause sleep apnea:


People who have excessive weight are more prone to this sleep disorder. 

Pre-existing heart condition 

If you have ever had a stroke or if you already suffer from diseases like hypertension, then there is a greater chance for you to have this sleep disorder.

High blood pressure 

Having high blood pressure is a significant factor that can cause the onset of sleep apnea.

Having diabetes 

Conditions like type 2 diabetes, PCOS, Parkinson’s, and asthma can also increase your chances of having this sleep disorder.

A thick neck narrows the airway, which increases the risk of sleep apnea.

People who are overweight or have thick necks find breathing difficult at night if their throat muscles relax. This enhances their risk of sleep apnea.

Smoking, drinking, or chewing tobacco 

These habits can act as a provocateur for sleep apnea.

If your nose stays frequently congested 

If your sinuses already trouble you or if you have polyps, then there is a very high probability that you will develop this sleep disorder. You must take care of your overall health to mitigate any kind of health risk. 

If you are an old male 

Older men are more prone to sleep apnea than any other demography. 

Post-menopausal females 

Post-menopausal or obese women also have a higher chance of developing this sleep disorder.

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition and one should not wait up to consult a doctor after getting to know their symptoms. If this condition is left untreated or unmanaged it can cause serious complications like liver problems, accidents due to lack of attention, migraines due to sleep deprivation, and much more. People with sleep apnea should also inform their doctor/surgeon about their condition if they are being treated or operated upon for something else, as this sleep disorder can cause trouble during or post your surgery. 

Sleep apnea treatment includes maintaining a healthy weight, using an air humidifier in your room at night, doing yoga, or changing your sleep position. Before you undertake any corrective remedy, you should work in synergy with your physician and organisations like Flinders discount chemist to treat this sleep disorder most effectively with the best care, medicines, and support.

You can read more blogs – When Should You Have a Heart Health Checkup?