Don’t Let Sleep Apnea Take Your Breath Away

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This article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your thoughts below…..

sleepThere are some moments in life that take your breath away, but if those moments are happening while you’re asleep, it might be time to see a sleep expert, according to a sleep specialist at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Sleep apnea is caused by a narrowing or complete collapse of the upper airway that occurs in some people while they are sleeping, and this can affect one’s ability to get oxygen to the body, making the body work harder to breathe,” said Dr. Fidaa Shaib, associate professor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Baylor and director of the Baylor Sleep Center. “This results in a brief arousal period, sometimes just three seconds, where the brain wakes up and the airway opens to restore breathing. For those with sleep apnea, this will happen several times throughout the night.”

Many people with sleep apnea are not aware of the number of times they are waking up briefly throughout the night. However, this sleep disruption causes them not to feel refreshed or rested when they wake up in the morning.

“It’s almost as if someone is waking you up every 10 seconds to breathe and then you go back to sleep,” said Shaib.


Sleep apnea is associated with multiple health issues including heart problems, high blood pressure, risk for stroke, poor diabetes control and weight gain. Common symptoms include snoring, stopping breathing and choking or gasping for air that is reported by the bed partner. Other common symptoms are not feeling refreshed in the morning or feeling tired throughout the day. Other signs that could indicate sleep apnea include restless sleep, waking up multiple times to use the bathroom, excessive sweating at night and heartburn or reflux.

“It’s important to note that women with sleep apnea may show symptoms of snoring and difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep,” said Shaib. “Their presentation is different from men, whose symptoms are usually snoring and feeling tired throughout the day.”

Risk factors and diagnosis

Risk factors of sleep apnea are obesity and anatomy, meaning that one’s facial structure may cause them to be at more risk for sleep apnea. People with nasal congestion, allergies or who are on pain medications or sleeping pills may be at a higher risk for sleep apnea.

A diagnosis of sleep apnea is made through a sleep study. Most patients will have to stay overnight at a sleep center where they are monitored for brain activity, breathing, oxygen levels, heart activity and movement. The sleep study gives a summary of a person’s sleep and experts identify those periods where there is narrowing of airways and oxygen levels are low. Some patients may also qualify for an at-home sleep test if most of their symptoms point toward sleep apnea and no other sleep issue.


Once a diagnosis is made, the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine remains the best treatment for sleep apnea. The machine works by gently blowing air into the windpipe to keep the airway open.

“The technology for CPAP machines has advanced and the treatment is usually very well tolerated in patients,” said Shaib.

After starting the use of the CPAP machine, which must be used every night, people usually have improved sleep quality, feel more refreshed in the morning and have better daytime function as well as better memory during the day. Patients also see benefits in blood pressure control and a lower risk of heart problems.

If patients do not tolerate the CPAP machine, other treatment options can include a custom made oral appliance or surgery.

Weight loss, behavioral modifications and treating allergies usually also helps treatment of sleep apnea.

“Some patients only have sleep apnea when they sleep on their backs, so another treatment option is to use maneuvers and techniques to help the patient stay off their back,” said Shaib.

Shaib notes that young children (3-6 years) are at risk for sleep apnea, especially when they have big tonsils and big adenoids. Older children and adolescents who are overweight or obese are also at risk. Symptoms in children include loud snoring and sleeping with their mouth open. However, rather than feeling tired during the day, children with sleep apnea are usually hyperactive during the day and can have difficulty in school. Bed wetting also can indicate the potential for sleep apnea. It’s important to consult with a pediatric sleep expert if these signs are seen in children.

There is a spectrum of response from treatment of sleep apnea, Shaib said. Some people say that using the CPAP machine is life changing, making them feel refreshed throughout the day. Others may not feel as dramatic of an effect, but are still benefitting from the decreased health impacts, such as high blood pressure or risk for heart problems.

Tips: How To Cure Bad Breath

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By Stephen Roshy

malesmileBad breath which is also called halitosis is an embarrassing problem that numerous people are facing nowadays, but an important thing is that those people who are experiencing it don’t know about it, until someone tells them. In this article, we have discussed seven useful tips that will help you to cure bad breath. Here they are:

1. Daily Brush and Floss Your Teeth:

The first thing you have got to do to get rid of bad breath is to properly brush your pearly whites twice a day. You should also floss your teeth as small particles of foods can get stuck between your pearly whites, and produce an unpleasant odor, when they start decaying. Flossing is the best way to keep your inhalation fresh, and it also washes the plaque from your pearly whites.

2. Cleanse Your Tongue and the Roof of Your Mouth:

Numerous people forget to clean the tongue and the roof of the mouth while brushing their teeth which can be a hiding area for odor-causing bacteria and particles of food which are left in the mouth after eating. Utilize a tongue cleaner to scrape your tongue, and also clean the roof of your jaws to eliminate halitosis.

3. Get Your Teeth Cleaned By a Dentist:

Cleaning teeth by yourself is distinct from getting it cleaned by a dentist. If you want to get rid of halitosis quickly, then you should visit your dentist, because dentists have good tools through which they can properly clean your pearly whites which you can’t do at home.

4. Be Aware of Some Foods:

Some foods you eat can affect your inhalation. For instance, onions and garlic can cause a terrible ador when you eat them. So, if you want to get rid of bad breath, you should stop eating such types of foods.

5. Use Saliva to Get Rid of Bad Breath:

A dry mouth is a big reason of bad breath. Saliva can assist you in washing away the foodstuff particles in your jaws. Chewing sugarless gums and drinking a lot of water can aid you in producing more saliva. A dry mouth is a normally a side- effect of numerous pills. If you think that you a have dry mouth, then you should visit your dentist.

6. Drink a Lot of Water Daily:

watercupThis is a simple thing that you can do to eliminate bad breath. Drinking plenty of water will wash away the bacteria in your mouth, and also decrease the chances of having an unpleasant breath. You should also stop drinking caffeine-containing beverages that can dry your mouth.

7. Stop Smoking:

Even if you have been smoking for many years, you can still discover some good methods to get rid of this habit that just gives you unpleasant smelling breath, yellow teeth and also put your wellbeing in danger. It might be hard for you to avoid this habit, but if you find some good experts, they will definitely help you to overcome this addiction.

In short, a proper oral hygiene can assist you in keeping your mouth and teeth clean and inhalation fresh. I am sure, if you follow the aforementioned tips, you will definitely be able to get rid of bad breath and get healthy teeth too.

– As a freelance blogger Stephen often writes on Oral Health and Dentistry. He works with