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Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder that affects almost twenty percent of Americans. If left untreated, this sleep disorder can cause multiple health effects, some of which are life-threatening. The causes of Sleep Apnea vary from patient to patient because there are a few different types of the disorder. Whatever the case, it is important to note the causes of this disorder so that it can be prevented in those at risk.
Common Causes of Sleep Apnea
Before determining the causes of this overly-common sleep disorder, we must identify the types of Sleep Apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, is the most common form of the sleep disorder. In this type, the causes of the disorder are rooted from the muscles and the throat relaxing during sleep, making it hard for the individual to get functional breaths. Other factors that can play a role in this disorder include enlarged tonsils and being overweight. Those that have more fatty tissue in the neck are at a higher risk for airways being obstructed during a relaxed state of sleep.
When the airways to the lungs are blocked during sleep, a drop in blood pressure awakens the brain and sends messages to wake the rest of the body so that airways are reopened and breathing can recommence. These shortnesses of breath during sleep, or apneas, can happen about 30 times per night and are usually not remembered in those that experience them. When the body starts breathing again, there is usually choking and snorting as the airways reopen.
The less common type of the sleep disorder, Central Sleep Apnea, or OSA, is caused a bit differently. This disorder is rooted from a lack of brain signal that tells the muscles of the lungs to breathe during sleep. Causes of this type of disorder can result from being overweight, brain stem injury or malfunction, heart conditions, or Parkinson’s disease.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Whatever the cause or type of sleep disorder, it is important to treat it before further health conditions arise. Treatment is proven to reduce and even eliminate symptoms of the disorder. To receive treatment for any type of Sleep Apnea disorder, caused by any reason, requires a diagnosis. Diagnosis for sleep disorders typically require seeing a doctor, but advancements in technology make the process much simpler and convenient. At home sleep tests, like the one available through ION My Sleep, makes diagnosing sleep disorders from a doctor a thing of the past. You can now wear a device overnight, ship it back to us, and see the results of your synopsis in a matter of days on your very own computer, laptop, or cell phone.
Symptoms of the disorder are many so if you think that you may be suffering from Sleep Apnea, a risk-free assessment test can determine your risk. The test is free of charge and only takes a few moments. If the test determines that you are at a higher risk than most for a sleep disorder, a diagnosis is recommended. If you would consider using the at home sleep test, which is as effective as a doctor’s in-office test, it may be covered under your insurance plan. If you have any questions or concerns about our at-home sleep test, please give us a call today at 800-355-0540.