What You Should Know About Sleep Apnea


If you are planning to take up any of UCAT courses, it’s great to expand your knowledge beforehand. This article will study one of the most common conditions many Australians have: sleep apnea.

While sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the world, only few people are informed about this condition. The most notorious misconception about this sleep disorder is that it is just a simple condition that causes a person to snore; however, medically speaking, this disorder is way beyond more serious than simple snoring.

Sleep Apnea: Simple and Brief Explanation

In its most basic definition, sleep apnea is an obstructive and serious sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing during sleep. This condition blocks a person’s airway, which limit the amount of air that reaches his or her lungs. This is why individuals with sleep apnea snore loudly or make choking noise while breathing during sleep. A more serious side effect of this disorder is that the patient’s brain and body becomes deprived with oxygen. Frequency of sleep apnea’s effects may happen few times or in more serious cases, several hundred times a night.

The most common cause of apnea or temporary pause during breathing is associated with the collapsing of the tissue found in the back of the throat. Since the upper airway muscles of an individual relax when he or she is sleeping, when you he or she sleeps on his or her back, tongue tends to fall back due to gravity. Because of this, the airway is narrowed, reducing the amount of air that reaches the individual’s lungs. This creates the snoring or choking sound of the sleep apnea sufferer.

Facts about Sleep Apnea that May Startle You

Though sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder, the general public knows a little about it. In order to understand this condition better and how to resolve it, here are some of the facts that you may find surprising:

Not all people with sleep apnea know that they have it – Many people who are suffering from this obstructive sleep disorder is aware of their condition. According to available data, at least nine percent of women and about 24 percent of men are suffering from sleep apnea. Because many people are not aware of the signs and symptoms of this disorder, they take their snoring as a condition not to worry about.

Even healthy and fit people can suffer from sleep apnea – The general misnomer about sleep apnea is that only overweight and obese people can suffer from it. Although being overweight or obese is a factor, there are also other common causes that lead to sleep apnea, such as lifestyle, hereditary body features, and age.

Sleep apnea is something more serious than you think it is – Sleep apnea does not only cause a person to snore loudly or to make choking sounds while sleeping as it could lead to more serious medical complications. This disorder does not only distract your sleep, but could also result in severe health issues. Severe sleep apnea could lead to life-threatening conditions like heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and other related serious conditions.

CPAP masks can help – Aside from having healthier lifestyle and diet, and avoiding sleeping on back, sleep disorder experts also recommend sleep apnea sufferers to undergo treatment that involve CPAP masks. These masks are proven to be effective in alleviating symptoms of sleep apnea, which help patients to have better quality sleep and avoid contracting more serious health complications.

Sleep apnea may seem a trivial sleep disorder, but no one should take it lightly. If you are planning to study UCAT courses, you may want to pay attention to topics related to common conditions that affect many Australians as it will help you in your future in the medical field.