Sleep Apnea. Could exhaustion during the day cause you to have sleep apnea?
If you are exhausted, and can’t concentrate on your tasks during the day then you are not getting enough sleep during the night. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by episodes of awakening from sleep during the night due to a lack of oxygen. It will cause fragmented sleep and leads lack of energy, focus, and irritability in the short term and many long-term effects including, heart disease, strokes, and depression to mention a few. 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems according to CDC. Insufficient sleep is experienced by about 30 percent of people ages 18 and older. 10-14 percent of Men and 5 percent of women suffer from Obstructive sleep apnea. Prevalence is higher in Black, Hispanic, and Asian population. Prevalence is increased for people ages 50 and over.
So what causes OSA?
One of the main causes of OSA is obesity (36 percent of the US population), other causes are genetics, facial structure abnormalities (enlarged tonsils, a large volume of the tongue, abnormal maxilla position, length of the soft palate, and a decrease in the area of the upper airways), thyroid problems (hypothyroidism), strokes and other neurological disorders like myasthenia gravis.
What are the signs of OSA?
- Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
- Trouble concentrating
- The feeling of depressed which will lead to Depression
- Dry mouth
- Sexual dysfunction
- Night sweats
- Frequent night-time urination
How can I get a proper diagnosis?
If you have the above symptoms or you have some use the following method at home to see if you are at high risk of having OSA. STOP-BANG score. (S) snoring, (T) tired, (O) observed apnea, (P) pressure (blood pressure), (B) BMI more than 35, (A) older than 50 years old, (N) neck greater than 40 cm, and (G) gender (male). If you have three or more positive answers, then you have a high chance of having OSA.
The next step for you is to see your healthcare provider in order to get proper testing, and diagnosis. Your healthcare provider will guide you appropriately so you could avoid the long lasting effect of OSA including, cardiovascular disease (congestive heart failure, heart attacks, arrhythmias ), Strokes, and high blood pressure.
What can I do to reduce my risks?
- If you are overweight, lose weight
- Stop smoking if you are a smoker
- Decrease alcohol intake
- If there are structural problems like large tonsils you need tonsillectomy. If there are issues with air passages through the nose like a deviated septum, repair of deviated nasal septum would help. There are many other surgical procedures available to fix underlying problems.
- Using Machines (BIPAP, CPAP) to help you during the night. They provide positive airway pressure to keep the airways open.