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Sleep apnea symptoms and causes

Last updated on : 17 May, 2024

Read time : 5 min

What about Sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes breathing pauses while sleeping. People with this syndrome experience frequent long pauses in their breathing while sleeping. These small pauses in breathing disrupt sleep and decrease the body’s oxygen supply, which could have major health consequences.
One of the most frequent sleep disorders that may be found in sleep apnea. It can affect both infants and adults, as well as persons of both sexes, though men are more likely to be affected by the less common type of apnea, called central sleep apnea, which can occur in people who have had a stroke, have heart failure, are on certain medicines (for example, opioids), or have a brain tumour or infection.

The main types of sleep apnea are

  • Obstructive sleep apnea is the most frequent type of apnea, which happens when the muscles in the throat relax.
  • Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to provide the proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing.
  • When someone has both obstructive and central apnea, they develop the complex syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea symptoms and sign

The ubiquity of this disorder is its possible health consequences, individuals must understand what it is, as well as its forms, symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Because the signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea are so similar, determining which one you have can be challenging.

Some of the most common indications and symptoms include:

  • snoring loudly
  • In which you stop breathing while sleeping — which another person might report
  • During sleep, I was gasping for air.
  • I awoke with a dry tongue.
  • Headache in the morning
  • Having trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Excessive drowsiness during the day (hypersomnia)
  • Paying attention while awake is difficult
  • Irritability

Sleep apnea causes

When the soft tissue in the back of the throat compresses during sleep, it blocks the airway, causing obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is more common among patients who have had a stroke or who have neuromuscular diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). It’s also common in people with heart failure or other heart, kidney, or lung issues.
When the muscles in the back of your throat relax, this happens. The soft palate, the triangular section of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils, the sidewalls of the throat, and the tongue are all supported by these muscles.

As you breathe in, your airway narrows or closes as your muscles relax. You aren’t getting enough air, which causes your blood oxygen level to drop. When your brain detects that you are unable to breathe, it briefly wakes you up so that you can reopen your airway. You normally don’t remember this waking because it is so fleeting.
You may snort, choke, or gasp. This pattern can occur five to thirty times per hour or more throughout the night, hindering your capacity to reacquaint yourself.

Is sleep apnea dangerous?

This is conditions can affect anyone, but several factors make you more vulnerable:

  • Being overweight is a problem.
  • A high neck circumference could constrict your airways
  • A constricted airway is caused by large tonsils or adenoids that you inherited or developed.
  • Being a man
  • Getting older
  • It may run in the family
  • Use of sedatives, tranquillizers, or alcohol
  • Congestion in the nose
  • Type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, PCOS, hormonal abnormalities, previous stroke, or chronic lung ailments like asthma are examples of medical issues.


If you have apnea, your doctor will recommend treatment based on the severity of your disease. In moderate cases, lifestyle adjustments may be all that is required. They might advise you to lose weight, quit smoking, or get treatment for your nasal allergies (if you have any). If these don’t work, or if you have a moderate to severe case of this disorder, your doctor will recommend a different treatment. Constant airway pressure is a good thing.

Airway pressure is constant (CPAP). While you’re sleeping, this equipment delivers air pressure through a mask. This air pressure is higher than the surrounding air, which aids in keeping your upper airway passages open and prevents apnea and snoring. Talk to your doctor if your CPAP mask is making you uncomfortable. Oxygen supplementation If you have central sleep apnea, you may need to consume more oxygen while sleeping. There are several different types of oxygen and gadgets that can assist you to get it to your lungs.
Treatment for a variety of medical conditions. Heart or neurotransmitter problems can induce central sleep apnea. You can control the symptoms of sleep apnea if you treat these disorders.

Servo-ventilation that adapts (ASV)- This is a technology that can “learn” the pattern of your breath. This airflow gadget will use pressure to correct your breathing rhythm and eliminate any pauses while you sleep. ASV appears to be more successful than other forms in treating complicated disorders.

Surgery – If other treatments are unsuccessful, your doctor may recommend surgery. Only if another kind of treatment hasn’t relieved your apnea for more than three months or if you have an uncommon jaw structure condition will you proceed with the procedure.

Surgical procedures that may be considered include:

  • Tissue extraction
  • Tissue contraction
  • Repositioning of the jaw
  • Implants
  • Stimulation of nerves
  • Tracheostomy is a type of tracheostomy that (or creating a new air passageway)

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Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.


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