Sharon on: SENIORS AND SLEEP APNEA
Sleep is the way your body regenerates
its cells, heals and decompresses from life. When one lacks adequate sleep it can have far reachng consequences.
Apnea is derived from the Greek work “apnoia” and literally means “without breath”. There are three forms of sleep apnea. Usually the person who suffers from apnea will not realize that they stop breathing because the episode does not trigger a full awakening. Oftentimes the spouse or partner is the first to notice and identify a problem.
According to the Sleep Apanea Foundation different types of Sleep Apnea are:
Obstructive Apnea: the tissue in the back of the throat closes over the airway interfering with breathing.
Central Sleep Apnea: brain stem neuron (PreBotzinger nerve complex)impulses are interrupted and the lungs “forget” to breathe.
Mixed Sleep Apnea: is as the name implies, a combination of Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea can be idiopathic (no known cause), from narcotic use or even from a change in altitude.
Symptoms of Apnea:
Multiple episodes of interrupted breathing
Extremely loud snoring
Fatigue in the morning and throughout the day
Dry mouth in the morning
Gasping during the night
Indications for Apnea:
those over the age of 40(but can even occur in children!)
individuals of African American or Hispanic/Latin heritage
a large neck circumference greater than 16″ for women/ greater than 17″ for men.
For some apnea episodes can occur hundreds of time during the night for periods for up to a period of one minute or more. With each apnea episode there is a danger of hypoxia, a lack of oxygen perfusion in the cells. In more severe cases it has been linked to seizures, even without the presence of epilepsy, heart attack and although rare, sudden death. The effect of apnea even on a cellular level can be devastating. Untreated sleep apnea can result in heart disease, high blood pressure, and has even been linked to car accidents. Apnea does not just affect the patient …it affects others as well. Sleepapnea.org documents that more that 18 million people in the US suffer form sleep apnea, roughly the same number as diabetes.
If you notice that your partner snores very loudly and/or has breathing lapses during the night, don’t ignore it or think that it is harmless. Consult with a Physician who specialized in sleeping disorders. Interstingly, women are less likley to get diagnosed, so if you are a woman and suspect a problem speak up! There are various remedies to this insidious problem to help the patient (and so your partner won’t need to sleep in a separate bedroom!)
Be sure to watch Sharon’s Full Body and Fitness Wrokout on Comcast Channel’s 3, 15 and 22; Verizon Channels 24, 26 and 28, Mondays at 10a.m. and Tuesday’s at 6:30 p.m.
I also insturct Advanced Core and Balance for Seniors at the Malden Senior Center call 781.397.7144 for details.
Remember to take care of yourself and….
Check out her “Senior Fitness Columns” and stay in shape and in good health!