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Obstructive Sleep Increases with Age

by Kamal Salar

“Obstructive Sleep” or the “Apnea Syndrome” is a common symptom occurring among the individuals suffering from respiratory disturbances. The sleep disturbances are often seemed to be growing with the age. The people otherwise found medicinally healthy are found to develop breathing irregularities during sleep, particularly in the older individuals. This has been taken as matter of significance especially among the clinicians.

The different degrees and the defined symptoms related to the sleep disordered breathing are the other areas of importance which physicians are planning to give attention to.  The irregularities may range from completely obstructed breathing to loud snoring which can lead to reduction of oxygen supply during the sleep and early arousal.

‘Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI)’ showed a significant increase in the intensity of the problems with the age so it can be even called a result of a normal aging process.  There are various medical documents to support the fact that there is a substantial increase of ‘sleep apnea syndrome’ with age, thus leading to the possibility of establishing the same relationship in the matter of respiratory disturbances. However these disturbances may occur in an individual without being accompanied by the symptoms or signs of ‘obstructive sleep apnea syndrome’.

This relationship between the age and prevalence of respiratory problems in aged people is yet to be supported more scientifically by the long term studies done in the field of its clinical outcomes. There have evolved various measuring techniques in the same over the recent past. So the clinical relevance of the new findings has yet to grab a stronger ground.

Individuals with ‘Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI)’ are likely to develop pathophysiologic consequences over time, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease. So regardless of symptoms, these can be taken as an important measure to suggest therapy to those who have been suffering from the ‘sleep apnea’.

‘Obstructive sleep apnea’ carries a strong relationship with the sleep-related breathing disorder as during the sleep it might induces the body to stop breathing. It occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway, preventing air from getting into the lungs.

Seven or eight hours of unobstructed sleep have been recommended among the adults for normal health however the respiratory disturbances may lead to the early arousal during the sleep. This necessitates the effective treatments to be devised to overcome this problem. ‘Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)’ provides an effective measure to control problems associated with the breathing disorders.

During this the patients get a continuous of pressurized air through a mask that they wear during sleep. The airflow keeps the airway open, preventing the pauses in breathing. The CPAP users have seen drastic reduction in their sleep related disorders. They are more energetic and are able to show more work related performance.

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