The sleep cycle It is divided into four phases of non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep followed by a period of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Phases 1 and 2 represent the initial phases of light sleep and are made up of groups of fast alpha waves along with some beta waves and sleep spindles. Phases 3 and 4 represent the deepest phases of sleep, with a predominance of slower beta waves.
During a normal sleep cycle, an individual will go from the lighter phases (1 and 2) to the deeper phases (3 and 4). The individual will then go through a phase of sleep quite different from the others. This phase is presented as a desynchronized activity in which other physiological events occur, such as contraction of the muscles of the face and extremities, disturbances in heart rhythm and respiratory rate, and rapid movement of the eyes under the eyelids.
The Sleep apnea It is defined as a series of repetitions of episodes of apnea during sleep, that is to say, of temporary respiratory pauses, lasting more than ten seconds.
This series of pauses proceeds as a consequence to different alterations of a functional nature or of the anatomy of the part of the upper airways. It is this part of the airways that, if affected, affects their permeability and, therefore, can negatively affect the normal respiratory cycle and its normal function.
Patients with sleep apnea have these episodes continuously so they when you stop breathing for a few seconds there is hypoventilationTherefore, these efforts when breathing can trigger hypercapnia (elevated carbon dioxide concentration) and hypoxia (lack of oxygen).
Treatment of sleep apnea must be diagnosed and treated by a specialist in this field. This is why there is no specific treatment, but rather there is a wide range of possible treatments that are sometimes combined for maximum effectiveness.
The goal of sleep apnea therapy is widening the lumen of the throat to avoid upper airway obstruction. This can be achieved by using the sleep apnea Brace.
The sleep apnea Brace is a mandibular advancement device used to advance the lower jaw, thereby widening the part of the retrolingual area behind the tongue. Offering in this way better patency of the upper airways.
In more severe occasions, it may be necessary to place a continuous air pressure device in this part of the airway. It is a type of mask placed over the mouth and nose. Thanks to this mask there is a positive air pressure so the upper airways are kept open.
Also, if sleep apnea is very serious, the main indication is surgical treatment, eliminating a part of the soft palate and, in this way, the passage of air is improved and this part of the airways is permeabilized.
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