Sleep apnea is a syndrome characterized by the obstruction of breathing during sleep.
There can be two types: obstructive and central. Obstructive is more common. This type of apnea occurs when there are episodes of complete or partial blockage of air while breathing.
- With this condition, the diaphragm and chest muscles have to work doubly hard in order to increase air in the respiratory paths.
- This can be serious because it not only changes sleep, it also intervenes in the presence of oxygen in the organs, causing tachycardia, a very fast heart rate.
In the case of central apnea, it’s directly connected with the functioning of the central nervous system.
In the last several years, experts have discovered that apnea is related to illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity and even cancer.
One of the main manifestations of apnea is snoring. However, this does not mean that all people who snore have sleep apnea.
In addition, other symptoms include accelerated breathing, restless sleep, and inadequate positions for sleeping in order to maintain continual breathing. In some cases, people perspire.
If you’d like to know more about this condition, pay attention to the the following information:
Symptoms of obstructive apnea
• Snoring and strange noises when breathing
• Sensations of suffocation upon waking
• Tiredness and irritability
• Congested respiratory paths and frequent respiratory infections
• Respiratory pauses
Symptoms of central apnea
• Low performance in daily activities
• Movement of the rib cage when breathing
• Breathing through the mouth during the day
• Learning disorders
Causes and risk factors of sleep apnea
What are the causes?
In general, the average person doesn’t have problems with the respiratory paths.
Victims of apnea experience the opposite: the tissues close and block the breathing process.
There are several risk factors for this occurring:
- Having a lower jaw that’s shorter than the upper jaw
- Have a long neck
- Problems with keeping your tongue inside your mouth
- Lesions in the central nervous system
- Heart and Lung irregularities
- Poor metabolism
- Gastric reflux
There are many ways to help prevent this condition from occurring. You can:
- Control your body weight.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
- Treat respiratory allergies.
- Control your stress, since it can provoke hormonal problems.
- Prevent a slow metabolism.
The orophyrynx is found at the base of your tongue and includes part of the soft pallet, side walls, tonsils and the upper part of your throat.
Therapy for the oropharynx muscles and electrostimulation is a method that is used to reduce symptoms of apnea.
These are easy, safe and effective exercises, since they reduce the amount of snoring and interruptions in sleep.
Fortunately, in spite of the above, it’s also possible to treat apnea naturally.
Put the palate to work
This exercise improves breathing when sleeping.
- Pronounce each of the vowels while exhaling air through your mouth.
- You have to say the vowels for 3 minutes every day.
- •In this exercise, repeat the open vowels (A,O) while inhaling through your nose and exhaling though your mouth.
- Pronounce words that have the long sound when you combine two vowels. (For example: boa, Maria, etc.)
Blow up a balloon
Blowing up a balloon helps to exercise the lungs and the muscles of the diaphragm. Besides, its also strengthens the lips and above all, improves the pronunciation of the words.
• To do this, blow between 5 and 6 times forcefully.
Exercise your face
Other effective methods of treatment is to do facial exercises.
- Start by opening your mouth as wide as you can.
- •Then, tighten your lips for 10 seconds.
This will help to strengthen the muscles.
Put pressure on the palate
One of the techniques to fight insomnia is to put the end of your tongue on your palate.
- Put your tongue just above your upper teeth.
- Breathe through your mouth and exhale slowly.
- Close your mouth and count 5 seconds while breathing.
- Finally, exhale.
Final recommendations for sleep apnea
- •To begin, turn off all electric devices at an early time and avoid distractions.
- Always make sure to wear comfortable clothing to sleep.
- Keep the area well-ventilated.
- Eat moderate quantities at dinner.