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Sleep apnea: what is it, the causes of a dangerous night's syndrome in adults, as well as pronounced symptoms of the disease and the effect of episodes of snoring on respiratory arrest in a dream

Sleep apnea - respiratory arrest during sleep, which leads to a complete absence or decrease in pulmonary ventilation (more than 90% with respect to the initial air flow) lasting more than 10 seconds. Respiratory failure is of two types: obstructive and central. Their significant difference lies in the respiratory movements: they occur in the obstructive type and are absent in the central one. The latter type of apnea is a rare case of the disease. Therefore, obstructive sleep apnea is a more detailed consideration as a common form of apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (hereinafter referred to as OSA) - a condition characterized by:

  • snore,
  • periodic obstruction (decay) of the respiratory tract at the level of the oropharynx
  • lack of ventilation with preserved respiratory movements
  • lowering the level of oxygen in the blood
  • gross disturbances in sleep structure and excessive daytime sleepiness.

The prevalence of this disease is high and is, according to various sources, from 9 to 22% among the adult population.

The cause of this disease, as the name implies, is airway obstruction. Various pathologies of ENT organs lead to it (usually tonsil hypertrophy, in children - adenoids), as well as a decrease in muscle tone, including due to an increase in mass (adipose tissue is deposited in the walls of the airways, narrowing the lumen and lowering the tone of smooth muscles) .

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

One of the most common and noteworthy symptoms is snoring. Its prevalence in the adult population is 14–84%. Many people think that snoring people do not suffer from OSA, so snoring is not dangerous to health and is only an irritant for the second half and a social factor. However, this is not quite true. Most patients with snoring have respiratory disorders of varying severity, and such a sound phenomenon can act as an independent pathological factor due to vibration injury of the soft tissues of the pharynx. Most often, OSA symptoms are noted by close ones, horrified by the abrupt cessation of snoring and respiratory arrest, while the person makes an attempt to breathe, and then he starts snoring loudly, sometimes tossing and turning, moving his arms or legs, and after a while breathing is restored again. In severe cases, the patient may not breathe half the time of sleep, and sometimes more. Apnea can also be fixed by the patient himself. In this case, a person can wake up from a feeling of lack of air, asphyxiation. But more often than not, awakening does not occur, and the person continues to sleep with intermittent breathing. In cases where a person sleeps indoors alone, this symptom may go unnoticed for a very long time. However, like snoring.

Other, no less serious symptoms of this disease include:

  • severe daytime sleepiness with adequate sleep time,
  • feeling of fatigue, tiredness after sleep,
  • frequent nightly urination (sometimes up to 10 times per night).

Often, symptoms such as daytime sleepiness and a non-refreshing sleep are underestimated by patients, believing that they are absolutely healthy. In many ways, this complicates the diagnosis and leads to a false interpretation of the symptoms. Also, many people associate frequent nighttime urination with urological problems (cystitis, prostate adenoma, etc.), are repeatedly examined by urologists and do not find any pathology. And this is correct, because with severe respiratory disturbances in sleep, frequent nightly urination is a direct consequence of the pathological process due to the effect on the production of the sodium urethic peptide.

Pathogenesis of sleep apnea

The resulting airway collapse leads to a cessation of airflow into the lungs. As a result of this, the oxygen concentration in the blood drops, which leads to a short activation of the brain (micromotion, repeated many times, their patient does not remember in the morning). After that, the tone of the muscles of the pharynx briefly increases, the lumen expands, and a breath occurs, accompanied by vibration (snoring). Permanent vibrational injury to the walls of the pharynx provokes a further decrease in tone. This is why snoring cannot be considered a harmless symptom.

A constant decrease in oxygen leads to certain hormonal changes that alter carbohydrate and fat metabolism. With severe changes, type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity can gradually occur, and it is often impossible to lose weight without eliminating the root cause, but normalization of breathing can lead to significant weight loss without strict diets and exhausting exercises. Repeatedly repeated micro-awakenings do not allow the patient to plunge into the stage of deep sleep, thereby causing daytime drowsiness, morning headaches, persistent increase in blood pressure, especially in the morning hours and immediately after waking up.

Classification and developmental stages of sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome has three degrees of severity. The criterion for dividing is the apnea-hypopnea index (hereinafter YAG) - the number of respiratory stops for a period of one hour of sleep (for polysomnography) or per hour of study (for respiratory printing). The higher this indicator, the worse the disease.

Sleep apnea - what is it?

Such a terrible disease is in 6% of the entire population (for the most part, it is men who suffer from it).

If you do not start treatment for the disease in time, there can be terrible consequences. It is worth noting that the ailment occurs at a deep stage of sleep.

It is interesting that this disease has other names, which inherently describe one mechanism: sleep apnea, sleep apnea, sleep apnea. All these terms mean sleep disturbance, at the moment of which respiratory arrest occurs.

Important! This stopping time is enough to reduce the oxygen in the brain, while increasing the amount of carbon dioxide. The duration of respiratory arrest during an episode of nocturnal apnea is about 10 seconds.

As everyone knows, during a person’s sleep all muscles relax, while breathing becomes superficial. And this is a completely normal phenomenon of human physiology. People do not even think about it, because all the airways remain open. People who suffer from the disease of apnea have a partial, or complete overlap of the lumen of the pharynx itself.

There are several forms of the disease.

The following video details what apnea disease is:

So, this is the answer to the question: "What is sleep apnea?" In the next paragraph, we consider the forms of the disease and the symptoms of sleep apnea in adults. About the features of the disease in childhood, read in this publication.

Forms of ailment

Each form has its own mechanism and causes of development. Having studied that you can make the correct diagnosis and start a quick treatment.

Doctors clearly distinguish between:

  • sleep apnea - a state of the body when pulmonary ventilation stops for 10 seconds. It all happens during sleep,
  • sleep apnea syndrome - respiratory arrest, which is repeated with a certain frequency, as practice shows, such a stop leads to awakening.

Consider each form of the disease and find out what kind of problems with the body must be in order for such a terrible disease to occur.

Central type of night apnea - what is it? It’s obvious from the name that the problem in this situation is the central nervous system. The CNR, for some reason, does not send the necessary impulses to the muscles of the respiratory systems.

There are a number of reasons that cause such an ailment, as well as the main risk factors:

  • the very structure of the neck is abnormal (a structure that affects the lumen of the airways themselves),
  • other anomalies. Here we are talking about non-standard developed organs: large tonsils, adenoids, as well as a large tongue.
    In addition, the disease can provoke a curve of the nasal septum and chin, which leans back,
  • overweight, the last stage is obesity. Such causes of sleep apnea contribute to the fact that the airways are compressed by fat folds,
  • if on the eve of a symptom of nocturnal apnea, the man took a lot of alcohol or strong sedatives, perhaps complete relaxation of the muscles of the tongue and larynx,
  • strong snoring which can cause an extension of the larynx itself,
  • a common cause of nocturnal apnea is heavy smoking. But those who are in a very smoky room can also suffer, doing it stably,
  • heredity. Despite the fact that such an ailment is not transmitted by genetic means, it can be caused if one of the relatives was ill with it earlier (a rare case),
  • direct psychosomatics, that is, a person can increase the number of attacks by simply twisting himself.

The causes of the disease and the doctor's recommendations in the following video:

In addition, the development and manifestation of such a terrible ailment can be affected by other diseases that have been suffered by the patient, these include:

  1. hypothyroidism.
  2. Down syndrome and Marfan syndrome.
  3. Various neuromuscular disorders and so on.
  • Anomalies of the immune system and high blood pressure also affect the manifestation of sleep apnea.
  • When a patient develops apnea of ​​the central type, this is immediately evident, since the ailment has its own specific manifestation.
  • Clear symptoms of sleep apnea can be distinguished, the presence of which means that a person needs to consult a specialist:

Important! Since the patient suffers from a holding of breath more than 10 times per hour, he will begin to suffer from hypoxia, which externally manifests itself in a bluish tinge of his hands and face. And if you look closely at the patient during sleep, then even when breathing stops, the chest pulsates, trying to take a breath.

It is logical that such a disease does not allow a person to get enough sleep, which, in turn, leads to the fact that drowsiness, distraction, and working capacity remain throughout the day. In addition, with serious stages, loss of consciousness is possible.

This type of sleep apnea syndrome as obstructive is most often found in men. And if you imagine a typical portrait, then this is a man, most often prone to fullness, with rounded external parameters, his face is red, round. The voice is low, hoarse, eyes red.

The danger of the disease is that a person can fall asleep in the most unexpected places. Therefore, working on a responsible job, where you need to monitor production, or expensive, in no case should be ill with such an ailment.

Statistics show that this form of the disease in people under 30 years of age occurs within 6-7%, those over 60 - up to 30%. Men are sick within 30%, women - 20%.

The causes of sleep apnea, the same as the general ones, are mostly associated with muscles and abnormalities.

This form is more common than the central one, and there are a number of symptoms of night apnea syndrome, which diagnose this disease:

  • sufficiently loud and strong snoring that interferes with others,
  • constant pain in the head and chest, especially after waking up,
  • possible insomnia, frequent sleep disturbances,
  • high pressure,
  • breath stop for 10 seconds.

It is logical that such a disease has several forms of severity, which differ in the number of respiratory arrests:

  1. mild form, where respiratory arrest from 5 to 15 stops.
  2. Average from 15 to 30.
  3. The most dangerous, heaviest - from 30.

Now you know what it is sleep apnea syndrome and what forms of the disease emit. Next, let's talk about the complications of the disease.

Possible complications

Such a disease is very serious, and do not neglect it. If you notice that your sleep has become disturbed, you are snoring, your chest hurts, be sure to consult a doctor to begin timely treatment.

Important! If you do not start to be treated, then first there will be a simple sleep disturbance, after which the heart will be disrupted, but the worst thing that can happen is a fatal outcome. Statistics show that in people suffering from apnea, mortality rises 3 times from diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and other diseases of the cardiovascular system.

Frequent episodes of nocturnal apnea - what does it affect? Each time, when breathing stops, the body receives stress, while the pressure rises to 250 mm Hg.

Article, and it is logical that constant pressure surges lead to other diseases - arterial hypertension.

If the ailment proceeds in a severe form, then the patient has hormonal disruptions, namely, the level of growth hormone and testosterone is reduced.

Can I work as a machinist with sleep apnea? It is logical that it is impossible. After all, such an ailment does not allow a person to sleep, which affects his concentration. And it is quite possible that a man can fall asleep while driving.

There are certain prevention methods that should be used:

  • be sure to stop drinking alcohol, as well as strong means to calm the nerves,
  • if you nevertheless quit smoking, monitor the weight, because everyone knows that quitting smoking gains weight, and this is the first step to such an ailment,
  • it is necessary to cure the ailment that provoked apnea.

Now you know what night apnea is and that faced with such an ailment, you can not self-medicate, because the consequences of the disease are too serious to make fun of it.

Causes of snoring and respiratory arrest in a dream

Breathing in a dream is often accompanied by loud rattling sounds - snoring. A rumbling roar prevents relatives from falling asleep, which leads to chronic lack of sleep and even family quarrels.

“Snore” itself is not happy either: for some reason, constant fatigue and drowsiness increase, and the general state of health worsens.

After relatives begin to notice respiratory arrest, followed by loud snoring, it becomes completely uncomfortable.

About the disease

The noise that others hear when snoring is made by the soft tissues of the pharynx. Air passing through the narrowed upper airways promotes vibration of the palate and tongue. So one of the most hated sounds arises.

The most acute phase of snoring is inhalation. At this point, negative pressure is created that interferes with the airway and creates ideal conditions for their decline.

It is at this point that air retention may occur due to overlapping pharyngeal tissues. When the body realizes that the oxygen supply has been delayed, the central nervous system will send an impulse to the pharyngeal muscles. After which they will straighten out, and the expected exhalation will occur. At the same time, snoring intensifies.

The respiratory arrest lasts from a few seconds to 3 minutes. With repeated repetitions of the attack, sleep apnea syndrome is indicated. This is a dangerous condition that threatens not only human health, but also his life. Every year, the pathology of breathing in a dream causes about 40 million deaths.


The diagnosis of sleep apnea syndrome can be established after a visual examination of the ENT organs. An additional examination allows you to identify the causes of snoring and determine the degree of violations. The patient may be recommended:

  • take laboratory tests
  • undergo a somnological study of the state of the body during sleep,
  • seek advice from specialized specialists.

Observing physiological parameters and breathing during sleep is one of the best methods for diagnosing snoring and apnea.

Electrodes and other sensitive sensors are connected to the patient’s body, which record the movements of the respiratory muscles, EEG, ECG, EOG, heart rate, oxygen saturation, snoring and its intensity.

For 8 hours, data is continuously recorded, after which the somnologist evaluates the result.

Sleep holding and snoring are diagnosed using polysomnography, cardio-respiratory monitoring, or heart rate monitoring.


Snoring and sleep apnea syndrome require careful monitoring and timely treatment. At the same time, specialists are trying to direct maximum efforts to eliminate the cause of respiratory disorders. If it is impossible to eliminate them, they focus on symptomatic treatment.

In moderate to severe forms of sleep apnea, after sleep testing, a CPAP device is selected.

This is a small device consisting of a compressor and a mask, which are interconnected using a flexible and movable tube.

Its action is based on creating positive pressure during inspiration, which helps to straighten the airways. The device recognizes snoring and apnea in a dream and independently delivers a stream of air with the necessary strength.

Thanks to CPAP therapy, many patients are able to sleep peacefully without fear for their lives.

The degree of influence of snoring on human health

Mild sleep apnea and small snoring should be controlled to prevent disease progression.

In this case, you can eliminate the symptoms of airway obstruction in any convenient way:

In some cases (often with ENT diseases and abnormalities in the structure of the nasopharynx), surgical intervention is recommended.

Snoring in a dream is a serious symptom that, coupled with other warning signs, should prompt you to seek qualified help. Timely treatment gives good results, effectively and permanently eliminating respiratory disorders during night rest.

What diseases cause respiratory arrest in a dream?

Sleep apnea is a common problem that many people face. Full breathing is the basis of human life, and lack of air in a dream causes a lot of problems. It develops suddenly and is characterized by discomfort in the chest area, a person begins to experience panic, a feeling that someone is choking him.

Choking during sleep develops due to a decrease in oxygen concentration in the blood and an increase in the level of carbon dioxide. This condition is accompanied by violations of the autonomic function of the body, due to which unpleasant symptoms develop, and subsequently serious health problems are possible.

Causes of respiratory arrest in a dream

The causes of suffocation in a dream are not always associated with any disease - rare attacks sometimes occur in the absence of any pathologies after drinking alcohol, psycho-emotional stress, taking certain medications, and if there are allergens in the room where the person is sleeping. If respiratory arrest during sleep occurs constantly, you should pay attention to your own health. Among the most common factors that cause this pathology include disorders of the body from various systems and organs.

  1. Dysfunctions of the cardiovascular system (angina pectoris, arrhythmia, vascular crises, acute heart failure). These pathologies are characterized by a violation of the ability of the heart to pump blood normally, due to which oxygen metabolism is disturbed.
  2. Bronchial asthma. With this pathology, shortness of breath is often observed in patients, which can develop into nightly attacks of respiratory arrest.
  3. Thyroid disease. With some endocrine pathologies, an increase in the thyroid gland is observed, which presses on the trachea - for this reason, in a dream, it stops breathing and suffocation is felt.
  4. Sleep apnea. Syndrome of respiratory arrest in a dream is observed due to a decrease in muscle tone with excess weight, abuse of sedatives, an increase in tonsils. In the daytime, this condition is accompanied by drowsiness, a feeling of weakness, headaches in the morning, and spikes in blood pressure.
  5. Panic attacks. Unstable functioning of the nervous system causes panic attacks and symptoms similar to cardiovascular ailments (rapid or slow heartbeat, chills, intense fear of death).
  6. Sleepy paralysis. This is a condition that causes temporary immobilization. The brain does not send a signal to the rest of the body at the time of awakening, because of which a person remains conscious, but cannot move and speak, sometimes sees hallucinations and feels intense fear.

If the above pathologies are excluded, the answer to the question why you are suffocating in a dream should be sought in other factors. A list of secondary causes that can cause sleep apnea includes:

  • infectious and inflammatory processes, accompanied by swelling of the tonsils, an increase in adenoids, severe runny nose,
  • anatomical pathologies of the head, neck, face,
  • digestive system dysfunctions, autoimmune disorders,
  • excess weight,
  • smoking, including passive.

The first harbinger and another common reason for stopping breathing in a dream is constant snoring, which causes changes in the activity of the respiratory system, which is why suffocation develops. Accordingly, people who often snore are at risk for developing night apnea.

Pregnant women can also suffer from attacks of night suffocation - this often happens in the last months, when the fetus begins to put pressure on the diaphragm.

This condition does not pose a serious threat to the health of the mother or child, but in order to eliminate unpleasant sensations and reduce the risk of oxygen starvation, a woman is recommended to sleep on a bed with a raised headboard, or to put pillows under the back.

How is it manifested?

The main manifestation is a sensation of suffocation and the inability to breathe fully, and sometimes breathing stops when falling asleep, and in some cases it stops directly during a night's rest.

Those who had to deal with this condition describe it as follows: “I wake up from the fact that I don’t breathe, or suffocate when I fall asleep, I’m afraid not to wake up anymore, but I can’t move and ask for help.”

This condition develops in several stages:

  • at the first stage, the activity of the respiratory system is activated, the frequency and depth of inspiration increase along with blood pressure and pulse,
  • the next phase is characterized by the reverse process - vital signs are reduced, fingers and nasolabial triangle acquire a cyanotic shade,
  • during the third stage, the activity of the respiratory organs is disturbed, a respiratory arrest occurs, which lasts from a couple of seconds to 2-3 minutes, the reflexes fade, blood pressure drops, convulsions or uncontrolled muscle twitching may develop,
  • during the last phase, serious respiratory rhythm disturbances occur - breathing becomes short and deep, inspirations become difficult and convulsive, and exhalations are rare.

Some people do not suspect that they stop breathing during sleep or when falling asleep. To identify violations, it is necessary to observe the state of the sleeper - he begins to snore, after which apnea occurs.

Snoring and respiratory noise subside, the chest and abdomen move, and after 15-30 seconds, breathing is restored, the sleeping snoring loudly, and normal breathing is restored.

Sleep at this time, as a rule, is very restless - a person rushes about, moves limbs and tries to say something.

What is the danger of respiratory arrest during sleep?

Having discovered apnea in himself, a person first of all thinks, “If I gasp when I fall asleep, what consequences can this entail?”

In addition to the serious discomfort that causes this condition, it causes chronic fatigue, decreased performance, impaired immunity and metabolic processes, and depression.

In addition, people who suffer from apnea have an increased risk of developing hypertension, strokes and heart attacks - pathologies that can lead to death.

First aid for choking

The patient should be helped to sit down (in this position, the muscles that are responsible for breathing work better), calm him down, and then provide an influx of fresh air - unfasten clothing on his chest, open a window or window. If a person continues to sleep during respiratory dysfunction, he should be carefully woken up, sat down and forced to breathe deeply through his nose.

In cases where bronchial asthma is the cause of apnea, you can put mustard plasters on the chest, a warm compress on the feet, and take a medication inside to expand the bronchi (e.g., Eufilin).

In case of respiratory dysfunction due to swelling of the larynx of an allergic origin, any antihistamine medication in the form of tablets or injections should be given to the patient, and for cardiovascular diseases - Validol, Valocordin or Nitroglycerin.

It is better not to give the patient a drink, since a person’s throat is strained after an apnea attack, and fluid can provoke a relapse of the pathology and another attack.

Treatment of respiratory arrest in sleep - CPAP therapy

Respiratory arrest during sleep

Most often, sleep apnea or respiratory arrest is not recognized, but after awakening it can be reflected in headaches, a feeling of enduring fatigue. A similar phenomenon occurs often, so it is important to know what apnea is and what methods exist to get rid of it.

Causes of Night Apnea

Known causes of apnea are varied and vary depending on the type of disease. Considering the factors provoking the occurrence of obstructive apnea, several of their types are distinguished.

1. Obstruction of the airways for free movement of air.

Such a phenomenon can occur for several reasons:

  • congenital pathology of the respiratory tract, expressed in their narrowing,
  • Thornwald cyst, polyps localized in the nose,
  • curvature of the nasal septum,
  • adenoids,
  • frequent relapses of tonsillitis,
  • allergy,
  • underdeveloped lower jaw with displacement back,
  • tumor processes in the pharynx,
  • tongue enlargement as a result of acromegaly,
  • obesity.

2. Loss of tone of the pharyngeal muscles.

The following adverse factors can provoke such violations:

  • alcohol abuse
  • taking certain medications that promote muscle relaxation - some sleeping pills, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants,
  • thyroid disease
  • the appearance of an imbalance during the passage of nerve impulses generated by the brain, which are designed to keep the muscles in good shape, with the development of myodystrophy and other muscle pathologies,
  • damage due to trauma or surgical intervention of peripheral nerves.

By analyzing which reason is key to the development of central apnea, characterized by a sudden lack of signals from the brain to the respiratory muscles that control breathing. several groups of adverse provoking factors should be distinguished.

  1. A sharp decrease in the normal functioning of the respiratory center located in the brain. A similar condition is observed with Undine's syndrome, brain stem injury, the development of tumors, cysts, or hemorrhage.
  2. Inadequate blood supply or impaired gas exchange. Such causes of respiratory arrest in a dream appear with cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases.

It is noted that in identifying apnea in adults, men are more often at risk.

Characteristic symptoms

Symptoms characteristic of apnea are expressed in snoring, intermittent, noisy breathing. The person himself cannot say that he has any sign of respiratory arrest. This becomes apparent to people near the sleeping person.

When breathing stops, noticeable anxiety appears. A man begins to twist his head, roll over. Frequent waking is characteristic of him, during which he immediately begins to draw in air.

There are other symptoms that show breathing problems while drowning,

  • alternating snoring with periods of sudden silence,
  • palpitations during night awakenings due to the sensation of suffocation,
  • sweating
  • difficulties in continuing to sleep after anxious waking up,
  • the appearance at night of the need to empty the bladder.

After awakening, the following conditions are characteristic signs of frequent respiratory arrest:

  • headache,
  • lack of feeling of rest after sleep,
  • daytime drowsiness, which reduces working capacity,
  • dry mouth
  • chronic irritability
  • memory impairment, decreased attention span,
  • the possibility of developing impotence.

Such a complex of negative effects on the body should motivate people who have sleep apnea syndrome, be more careful while driving, control themselves when doing responsible work, learn how to restrain negative emotions during personal communication.

Diagnostic Methods

If there is a suspicion of respiratory arrest, a diagnosis is performed that includes several directions.

  • Visual observation, survey

The doctor at the initial stage reveals the presence of signs of nocturnal apnea. The evidence of other family members who may have observed restless behavior during sleep helps clarify the picture.

Indirect symptoms are taken into account, which include fatigue, drowsiness, irritability.

During the examination, respiration parameters are measured, the patency of the nasal passages is checked, the possible presence of pathological changes in the upper respiratory tract is detected. A blood test is performed.

Important information can be obtained by connecting to a device that registers the necessary parameters throughout sleep. Such a procedure, if necessary, is carried out in the clinic.

A patient may be given a portable device for examination at home.

Treatment methods

Since respiratory arrest during falling asleep can be a provoking moment for serious pathological conditions, one cannot ignore the recommendations of doctors on the treatment of apnea. There are several successfully tested and showing good results treatment methods.

1. Lifestyle changes

Knowing some of the factors that trigger the appearance of night apnea can be a leading motive for their eradication. This approach is effective in the presence of a mild degree of the disease.

For obesity, you will need to turn to specialists and choose a safe method for getting rid of extra pounds. It is necessary to quit smoking, minimize the amount of alcohol (it is advisable to start a completely sober lifestyle).

2. CPAP (CPAP) - therapy

The essence of this progressive therapeutic technique is the use of a specially designed device with which it is possible to normalize breathing in a dream. An indication for this method is the development of moderate or severe apnea.

In the evening, before going into sleep, a mask is put on the nose. There are varieties that cover both the mouth and nose. The device provides, under design pressure, a constant flow of air into the airways.

This prevents the involuntary closure of ducts with soft tissues. Advanced devices of the latest generations are equipped with a humidifier.

They have enough settings to meet the specific needs of patients.

Applying treatment with CPAP devices, it is possible to ensure a full sleep. Also, this method is the prevention of stroke and heart attack.

Some side effects are taken into account:

  • discomfort at the stage of getting used to the mask,
  • nasal congestion
  • headache,
  • difficulty in nasal breathing
  • pain in the ears
  • stomach pain, flatulence.

With the constant occurrence of such reactions, specialist advice will be required.

3. Mandibular splint

When deciding how to treat apnea, the doctor may recommend the use of a mandibular splint identical to the mouthguard used in sports. This device captures the lower jaw, as well as the tongue, causing free breathing without interference.

A tire made of rubber-like material is put on the teeth, firmly securing the lower jaw. With moderate severity of sleep apnea, treatment with this device is effective and brings significant relief. The main condition is a competent selection of size, so you need to contact a dentist who owns skills in this direction.

4. Surgery

If it is impossible to cure night apnea with the help of special devices, surgical intervention may be indicated in the following cases:

  • curvature of the nasal septum,
  • small lower jaw
  • hypertrophic tonsils.

If often in a dream it stops breathing, then apnea treatment can take the form of the following types of operations.

  • Tracheostomy. With complete blockage of the upper respiratory tract, a special tube is inserted into the trachea through the hole, allowing air to flow freely into the lungs.
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. During the operation, the excess tissue of the soft palate is removed. If necessary, a tongue can be removed. Such surgery is often practiced in adult patients.
  • Adenoidectomy If adenoids interfere with breathing freely in a dream, they must be removed.
  • Tonsillectomy. During such an operation, hypertrophic tonsils are removed.
  • Pillar system. To make the soft palate more stable and rigid, thin implants made of dense material are inserted.
  • Bariatric surgery. If severe obesity is identified as a key cause of night apnea, it may be necessary to suture the stomach or reduce its volume by installing a special balloon.

What type of operation will be most effective is decided individually in each individual case.

Folk remedies

Even a brief respiratory arrest during sleep is dangerous, especially for a weakened body. The therapeutic complex may include drugs made according to the recipes of traditional medicine.

  • Fighting respiratory dysfunction caused by excess mucus will allow nightly washing of the nasal passages with sea salt (a teaspoon) dissolved in preheated boiled water (200 ml).
  • White cabbage juice (200 ml) will be beneficial, in which honey (a teaspoon) is added immediately after squeezing and drunk before bedtime.
  • With severe nasal congestion, 4 drops of pharmacy sea buckthorn oil are dripped an hour before falling asleep.
  • To strengthen the body, treat the cardiovascular system, remove mucus from the lungs, use black cumin seeds. For infusion, pour a tablespoon of raw material in 200 ml of boiling water and hold for insisting under the lid for 15 minutes. Drink before a meal twice a day. Course duration is 2 months.
  • In severe cases, it is advisable to prepare a mixture of several plants. It will take 100 g of sage, horsetail (grass), burdock (leaves), hawthorn (berries). Also included in the collection is 50 g of Cinquefoil (root). After grinding all the components, they should be mixed. In the morning, prepare a decoction, pouring in 500 ml of water a tablespoon of the mixture. After boiling, cook for 5 minutes. then the broth is filtered and cooled. Drink a day 4 times in a glass.

There are many recipes from the assortment of folk wisdom, so without effort you can choose the right option.


It is important for every person to understand what night apnea is and how this disease can be dangerous if left untreated.

Among the negative consequences of frequent delays during breathing sleep, the following pathological conditions are noted:

  • pressure increase
  • stroke,
  • ischemia,
  • brain malnutrition
  • heart failure,
  • heart attack.

Neurological disorders may develop, type 2 diabetes may occur. For men, impotence becomes an unpleasant consequence. People with high severity apnea are at risk because of the possibility of sudden cardiac arrest.

Apnea - what is it?

What is apnea, and in what forms does it manifest itself? Apnea is a disease, it is pathological and requires complex treatment depending on the form and severity.

Classification of apnea according to the mechanism of respiratory arrest:

  1. Central type. It is provoked by a malfunction of the central nervous system. Respiratory movements stop after exhalation, and the chest no longer rises. The cause in this case may be: intracranial pressure, traumatic brain injuries, viral infections, brain tumor and CNS disorders.
  2. Obstructive type - mechanical blockage of the respiratory tract.
  3. Mixed type - a combination of central and obstructive type. It is characterized by severe snoring.

By the duration of the stops, the following types are distinguished:

  • Hypopnea - oxygen deficiency is up to 50%, paths overlap partially (only part of the diaphragm moves, breathing is quicker),
  • Night apnea, which is characterized by complete relaxation of the larynx. The delay lasts more than 10 seconds.

To determine the severity, pay attention to the duration and frequency of the phenomenon:

  • Mild - 5–20 seizures per night.
  • The average form is 20–40 seizures.
  • Severe form - more than 40 stops.

Less than five episodes per night are considered safe for humans.

The severity of apnea is calculated according to a formula that takes into account these indicators and the duration of stops in seconds that occur during an hour of rest.


The main symptom of apnea is a sudden interruption of breathing during sleep, frequent awakenings, restless sleep and severe snoring (it stops abruptly before stopping breathing). The patient often does not remember the nightly episodes, so others can indicate deviations - children, parents or the second half. The accompanying signs should alert:

  • frequent urination at night,
  • drowsiness and weakness during the day,
  • morning headaches
  • dry mouth
  • impaired reaction and memory,
  • emotional instability (depression, irritability or stress),
  • constant feeling of anxiety and paranoia.

These signs are temporary. Mostly they are observed at night and in the morning, and pass in the evening. If treatment is not started in time, the general condition of the person worsens and other deviations develop:

  • sexual dysfunction and prostatitis (in men),
  • Dramatic weight gain
  • arrhythmia,
  • cardiovascular diseases.

In 50% of patients, concomitant pathologies are diagnosed, which significantly worsen the course of apnea. In this case, treatment is aimed at eliminating arterial hypertension, bronchial asthma, coronary heart disease, and other lung diseases.

It is also very important to watch the children during the day and night. Pathology can be given by breathing through the mouth, urinary incontinence, increased sweating, delayed reaction, a sharp change in temperament and unusual postures during sleep.


Compliance with the following rules will help reduce the manifestations, and in some cases even completely cure night apnea:

  • Body weight control. Losing weight by 5–10% improves oxygen permeability by 50–60%.
  • Sleep on your stomach or side. When a person lies on his back, his tongue falls inward, thereby blocking the airways.
  • The elevated position of the head prevents snoring and lowering the tongue inward. Raising the pillow too high is not recommended, because this will lead to the opposite effect.
  • Taking hormones will help women suffering from age-related changes.
  • The exclusion of the use of sedatives and relaxing tinctures on medicinal herbs.
  • Exclusion of bad habits.
  • Using special suction cups for snoring.
  • Providing easy nasal breathing. Chronic nasal congestion requires immediate treatment by an ENT doctor.

In addition, it is important to ensure the most comfortable conditions and peace: eliminate all unnecessary sounds, abandon the TV and computer before bedtime, use a dark blindfold.


It is prescribed for enlarged tonsils, curvature of the lower jaw and nose. Includes the following types of operations:

  • The use of the Pillar system is the introduction of synthetic plates into the soft palate, which make it stiffer and support it like a frame. Effectively eliminates snoring.
  • Adenomectomy - removal of hypertrophic lymphoid tissue. Polyps are removed on the upper part of the nasopharynx under local anesthesia.
  • Tracheostomy - opening the trachea and the introduction of a special tube that provides constant access to air, even when the paths to breathing are completely blocked.
  • Bariatrics. It is carried out with severe obesity and represents a surgical reduction in the size of the stomach. A person begins to consume less food and loses weight.
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty - removal of part of the soft palate.
  • Tonsillectomy - removal of hypertrophied tonsils.

USEFUL INFORMATION: What is sleep apnea?


This is one of the best and safest ways, which is to connect before bedtime a special mask covering the nose and mouth.

Air flows through a special tube under pressure, providing a constant supply of oxygen to the body. Modern devices have special settings for humidity and air temperature, which allows you to create the most comfortable conditions for the patient.

An effective treatment for apnea, which is caused by a tongue throw, is the application of rubber mandibular splints on the teeth, which help to keep the jaw and tongue in a safe position.

In the diagnosis of the central form, along with the main treatment, the diuretic Acetazolamide is used, which removes puffiness and improves blood supply to the brain cells.


If untreated, a person goes into a state that threatens his life. Lack of coordination and fatigue can lead to dangerous situations like getting into an accident.

Constant oxygen starvation increases the risk of heart attack and stroke by 30–40%. In severe forms, the syndrome of nocturnal apnea goes into the daytime phase, and the exchange of carbon dioxide is disturbed 24 hours a day.

In such cases, the diagnosis of Pickwick Syndrome is established, when due to drowsiness and general fatigue a person can fall asleep at any time and in any place, which is fraught with physical and industrial injuries.

The rapid increase in clinical manifestations can lead to disability and even death.

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