Sleep apnea is a disorder that can lead to more serious consequences. There are two kinds of sleep apnea, obstructive and central, both of which need fast diagnosis and appropriate treatment for improved health and quality of life.
In obstructive sleep apnea the air passages are blocked by extra tissue in the back of the throat. This extra tissue may be caused by obesity and could possibly be relieved by losing weight. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in older adults and can increase the risk of high blood pressure and strokes.
Central apnea is quite a bit less common than the obstructive variety but every bit as dangerous. It happens when the brain does not send the proper signals to the respiratory system. It is possible that both types of sleep disorder could occur in the same person.
Sleep apnea can lead to confusion and insomnia. The disorder is associated with an increase snoring which can awake the apnea sufferer many times during the night.
Just like insomnia and other sleeping disorders the tiredness and confusion a senior may feel during the day due to sleep disorder may be misread as a different health problem. The signs associated with sleep deprivation and sleep disorder could very well be confused with the symptoms that occur with the onset of dementia.
A well trained senior care provider will be able to identify the signs of sleep deprivation and make the most appropriate suggestions for improving sleep. If sleep apnea is causing issues with sleep and health a senior care provider and primary care physician can prescribe the most effective treatment to resolve the problem.