What is Sleep Apnea?
It’s a common and frequent sleep disorder, especially among men. One talks about sleep apnea syndrome (SAS), when patients snore at night or have desires to sleep during the day.
Studies show a significant number of breathing stops during sleep causing oxygen deficiencies with changes in heart rate and blood pressure.
If these respiratory pauses, hypopneas or true apneas, last more than 10 seconds, there are of two types:
- Obstructive, when they have an ENT or pneumological cause; these are the most numerous. Your airways collapse while you sleep due to reduced muscle tone, malformations (uvula, tongue), overweight.
- Centered, when neurological control is lacking
Sleep apnea has consequences on your vital energy, your intellectual performance and your health over time, until, in the absence of treatment, it could be fatal.
Sensation of suffocation, frequent awakenings are responsible for a significant decrease in the quality of the sleep and resulting in risk of drowsiness during the day.
Sleep Apnea, the causes
The frequent cause is a total and transient obstruction of the upper respiratory tract, pharyngeal, under the effect of a relaxed family anatomy, compensated during the day and abolished during sleep.
Sleep apnea have a family factor.
- Age (doubles or triples after 65 years old)
- Gender (men have 2 to 3 times more sleep apnea than women)
- Ethnic origins (Afro-americans and Asians have a higher risk of sleep apnea)
- Neck circumference (the larger is the neck, the higher is the risk)
Relatives or family are at the forefront to notice signs of sleep apnea: snoring and breathing difficulty during the night.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should make an appointment for a consultation:
- Somnolence during the day
- Noisy snoring followed by breathing breaks
- Breathless or suffocating during sleep
- Headaches in the morning
- Irritability or mood changes
- Difficulty in concentrating or memory loss
- Decreased sexual desire
- Sleepiness while driving
Sleep apnea can be mild, moderate or severe. You should go through an investigation so our doctor can offer the best treatment for you.
In case of mild sleep apnea, the best advice is to change your lifestyle to improve your sleep:
- Weight loss: weight is an important factor in apneas. A reduction of a few kilos often improves the situation by reducing the number of episodes per night.
- No exercise before going to bed: an intense activity before sleep can disrupt it. But keep exercising during the day for your weight.
- Think about the sleep cycles: a regular sleep schedule improves the depth of your sleep and allows a better adaptation.
- Avoid alcohol in the evening: alcohol and some medications increase the relaxation of the throat muscles and decrease the reaction time in case of apnea, aggravating the hypoxia of the latter.
- Sleep on the side: with a pillow that only holds the top of the face, thus allowing the jaw not to retreat too much during the muscular relaxation, which narrows the upper airways.
For moderate or severe sleep apnea, our doctor will choose with you the most adapted method to reduce or make disappear these sleep disorders:
- Dental devices: we work with dentists and dental technicians who have patented custom-made, extremely fine and efficient thrusters to mechanically increase the airflow through your throat while you sleep. Our doctor can prescribe this simple dental device for many cases of mild apnea.
- C.P.A.P. – Continuous positive airway pressure – yet the most frequent treatment. The pressure unit C.P.A.P. is specifically tailored to the needs of each person to prevent the collapse of the airway or the throat. The pressure varies depending on the severity of sleep apnea. It is unfortunately not very “sexy”.
- Radiofrequency procedure: radiofrequencies are used to shrink tissue in the throat or tongue, which makes more space in the throat. The success rate is fluctuating and does not give as much satisfaction as expected.
- Surgeries: surgery aim to increase air passage by reducing obstructions in the airway.
An investigation can be done comfortably during 1 or 2 nights in our partner hotel with immediate results and recommandations from our specialist.