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Michael Coppola- What is Sleep Apnea and How Does It Affect the Quality of Life


Sleep apnea occurs in several people, and it is a serious health condition where a person's sleep is interrupted by snoring. Those people with sleep apnea that is untreated stop breathing many times during sleep, and sometimes the number could go up to 100 times. This means that the brain and the rest of your body are not getting sufficient oxygen.

Michael Coppola- Different types of sleep apnea

Dr. Michael Coppola, MD, is a pulmonologist in Glen Burnie, MD. He has more than 43 years of valuable experience in the treatment of sleep apnea than other specialists in the region. He completed his graduation from the Georgetown U School of Medicine medical school in 1978.

He says there are two kinds of sleep apnea, and they are-

1.    Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA-It is more common of the two forms and results from airway blockages, generally when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses while sleeping.

2.    Central sleep apnea- This is different from OSA. Here, the airway is not blocked; however, the brain does not signal the muscles to breathe due to the instability of the respiratory control center.

Know the risk factors for sleep apnea

Sleep apnea tends to affect anyone and can also affect children. The risk factors for sleep apnea include the following-

·         Being male.

·         Being overweight.

·         Being more than 40 years old.

·         Having a large neck size (17 inches or more in men and 16 inches or more in women.)

·         Having large tonsils, a small jaw bone, and a large tongue.

·         Someone has a family history of sleep apnea.

·         Having a deviated septum that causes nasal obstruction, a sinus issue, or allergies.

What happens when you leave the condition untreated?

If the condition is left untreated, it will increase the risks of health issues like-

·         Diabetes

·         High blood pressure

·         Stroke

·         Heart failure, heart attacks, and irregular heartbeats

·         Depression

·         Worsens ADHD

·         Headaches

Causes in children

He says in the case of children, the causes of obstructive sleep apnea include enlarged adenoids or tonsils and dental conditions like a big overbite. There are fewer common causes like growth or tumor in the airway and other birth defects like Pierre-Robin and Down syndrome.

Down Syndrome causes the tongue to become enlarged, tonsils and adenoids as there is lesser muscle tone in the throat's upper airway. Those with Pierre Robin syndrome have a tiny lower jaw, and the tongue has the tendency to ball up and fall to the back of the throat. There are causes of childhood obesity that cause obstructive sleep apnea, and it is lesser commonly linked to adult obesity.

Dr. Michael Coppola says that irrespective of age if obstructive sleep apnea is left untreated, it can lead to grave complications like cardiovascular disease, premature and accidents. You need to check for signs like loud snoring and awakening during the night repeatedly with daytime sleepiness for getting a medical evaluation as soon as possible.

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