Bedtime is usually the most sacred and necessary to stay healthy and active the next day. However, there are different conditions that can be triggered during those hours. preventing the person from resting properly.
Those are the few seconds where breathing stops and resumes on its own during periods of rest. it’s about sleep apnea, an involuntary deformity that usually results from Closing the upper airway, reducing oxygen saturation in the body. A frequent and sometimes chronic disorder occurring in children, adults and the elderly.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between Between 1% and 6% of individuals worldwide suffer from this pathology. Data published by the British magazine The Lancet indicate that this translates to 1.3 billion people and that it is estimated that about five million people suffer from it in Argentina. But it highlights that about 80% are not aware of it and therefore do not treat it. At the same time, experts from the University of Granada in Spain revealed that 22% of men are more likely to suffer from it while in women it reaches 17%.
in dialogue CountryNeurologist Director of the Breyna Institute and the Cardiovascular Accident Unit of the Guames Sanatorium, Conrado Astole, commented that the term apnea means “not breathing” and suggests that it is A period of between ten seconds and sometimes up to a minute where the person stops inhaling and exhaling, a condition that produces subtle excitement, sudden agitation, and even nighttime snoring. “In front of this picture, the person who is suffering from them has no idea what is happening to them unless there is someone next to them to record the fact,” Astle says.
For his part, Alejandro Andersson, neurologist, director of the Neurology Institute of Buenos Aires, says this is something that only happens at night and not during waking because “We can control our breathing when we are awake, which is on autopilot when we sleep.”
But how is it triggered? Present Three types of apnea: resistant which occurs especially in adults, resulting when the muscles of the throat and mouth relax and block the passage of air, Central, It is common in children and develops when the brain does not send the correct signals to the respiratory system and eventually, the so-called Complex, which combines the last two.
As for Astole, there are many causes associated with this condition and are directly related to “Excess weight or obesity, Because there is an increased chance of blockage in the airways, Pre-existing cardiovascular problems and poor eating and lifestyle habits”. That is, people with these characteristics are more likely to experience apnea.
In turn, the consulting professionals emphasized that Family history and genetics also add to the list of factors that can trigger this disorder. And they warn that thin people or those who don’t meet the above requirements can experience it too. “In children, for example, it can be triggered by adenoids or when they have large tonsils. It is common to see it after menopause in women and through snoring in men”, comments Astle.
And as with most malformations, apnea brings with it a range of collateral problems that can gradually arise, such as, Arterial hypertension, diabetes, and certain cardiovascular deficiencies add to the risk of suffering a cerebrovascular accident.
In this regard, Gabriel Lippmann, cardiologist and coordinator of the Casaros Model Sanatorium’s outpatient clinic and author of the book “Reset, Lifestyle Medicine”, comments that mood is also affected “The patient is more irritable than usual, it is difficult for him to concentrate and concentrate on what he is doing and there is increased fatigue during the day,” the specialist says. It is very common to see traffic accidents caused by the driver falling asleep due to a feeling of extreme fatigue.
And while there is no definite cure, it can be Treat by taking some precautions: “In case of being overweight, it would be ideal to control it; On the other hand, you can resort to a method called “Constant pressure on the airway” (CPAP), a Mask that continuously releases oxygen, recommended for moderate or severe conditions. Sleeping on your side, abstaining from alcohol and resorting to relaxation techniques are also encouraged,” commented Astol.
On the other hand, if these measures have not produced positive results, Surgical options exist. In any case, experts emphasize that it is best to avoid interventions because they warn of possible secondary complications. In this regard, the options are wide and range from having a hypoglossal nerve stimulator, Device It simulates having a pacemaker, so that when the person stops breathing, it sends an electrical stimulus to the tongue that tones the muscles and frees up the airway. In this category the so-called advancement of the genoglossus muscleWhere the tendons in the front of the tongue are shortened to bring them forward and prevent them from moving backwards while sleeping.
Through uvulopalatopharyngioplasty, The structures of the palate, uvula and pharynx are altered so that they do not close and do not block the entry of air. In radiofrequency volumetric reduction, These waves that point to the back of the throat are used to contract and loosen the tissues. with maxillomandibular advancement, The jaw is repositioned: it is pushed forward to leave more space behind the tongue and the airway is not obstructed. One of the differences is that the face can undergo modifications.
Another surgery used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, especially in children, is tonsillectomy Which removes the famous tonsils. finally rhinoplastyOne that straightens the septum of the nose is another option against severe snoring.
As for ways to detect this, Anderson points to two studies: polygraphy measures sleep quality and polysomnography Where the patient spends the whole night in the health center for monitoring.
People with apnea do not realize that they are suffering from it and the fact is that if they sleep alone, The chances of finding out that they have it are less than none. “Raising awareness of this fact is very important because there are many people who suffer from it and are unaware of it, and the consequences they can have,” Lippman says.
For this reason, experts have noted a range of symptoms that begin during the day and that point to the condition.
“The lifestyle that each person leads plays an important role, as it may or may not promote a variety of diseases,” reflects Lippman. Next, they provide a series of recommendations that help prevent apnea.