|There are two types of sleep apnea: central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea involves a malfunction in the brain. You see, when we sleep, the brain sends signals to our respiratory organs to continue functioning even while we are unconscious. However, if a person has central sleep apnea, this means the brain has failed to inform the rest of the body that we still need to breathe and, thus, cuts the activity until the rest of our organs choke and seek air (thereby the gasping).If left unattended, or if the rest of the body also fails to respond to this curtailment, we could die. If you have read news articles about people who met their makers due to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis, it is likely related to a severe form sleep apnea.
It should be pointed out at this point that sleep apnea can either be a recurring problem or a one-shot event. Thus, nobody is really spared from it.
The other kind of sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction to the nasal passageways. This happens when our tongues fall too far back into our mouths that it already blocks the airways, or when we have either respiratory problems or allergies. Thus, it has been advised that people who tend to snore or suffer from sleep apnea should sleep on their sides.
People who have sleep apnea find themselves unable to perform normal daily functions to the best of their energies. While people with sleep apnea do not struggle with sleeplessness as with insomniacs, the fact that the body resets and restarts every time breathing is jumpstarted will make you feel fatigued during waking moments and unable to think or move much. Some people try to combat this daytime sleepiness by drinking a lot of caffeine, but this actually aggravates the situation.
Potential consequences of sleep apnea include morning headaches, hypertension, coronary artery disease, obesity, myocardial infarction, stroke, psychiatric problems, mood swings, impotence, cognitive dysfunction, irritability, memory loss, and death. Mild sleep apnea cases are often addressed by changing sleeping positions and elevating the head a bit, but for the more severe cases, medical help is required.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, or have any trouble at all with sleeping, consult your doctor immediately. It’s better to prevent the problem at the onset than have to deal with it while it’s already in full regalia. Sleep apnea is not something you can just wave off. When left untreated, it could not just wreak havoc on your work and personal life, but could also cut off everything, as well.