Did you know that nearly 12 million American’s are affected by sleep apnea? For these people, excessive fatigue or drowsiness may overcome them throughout the day without any understanding of why. In many cases, those who have sleep apnea may also snore loudly or wake up in the middle of the night feeling breathless. If this sounds like you, it is time that you see a sleep apnea specialist.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
When you go to bed at night, your body naturally goes into different stages of sleep. However, those that have sleep apnea are never able to achieve the deepest and most relaxing stages of sleep.
Sleep apnea is a condition when your breathing will stop periodically while you are sleeping. For some, this may be as little as five times per hour. However, we’ve also seen cases when patients have upwards of 40-50 apneas per hour each night.
When your body goes through an apnea, it limits the amount of oxygen that can get to your brain. As this happens, your body will temporarily wake itself up as it tries to regain its breath. As you can probably imagine, this happening many times in one evening can result in you not getting the deep sleep that is required to have you feeling rested and recharged on a daily basis.
What Symptoms Are Associated With Sleep Apnea?
Many people suffer the symptoms of sleep apnea for a long period of time before it is realized that they have the condition. Due to a lack in public awareness of sleep apnea, many people write their symptoms off as normal and continue to live with their drowsiness.
Although you may not be able to determine if you have sleep apnea on your own, here are some symptoms that are typically associated with the condition:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up short of breath during the evening
- Choking or snorting sounds
- Morning headaches
- Inability to stay awake during the day
- Fatigue and drowsiness throughout the day
- Insomnia at night
If you are experiencing any of these conditions, it is important that you contact our practice to see how our sleep center can help you.
What Are The Common Types Of Sleep Apnea?
There are three different types of sleep apnea that may be affecting you. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common and it affects people when a physical blockage occurs in the back of the throat. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is less common, but it can occur when muscles involved don’t receive a signal from the brain to continue breathing. Finally, complex sleep apnea is a combination of both OSA and CSA.
By determining which type of sleep apnea you may have, we can utilize the proper treatment to free you from the snares of drowsiness in the quickest possible time.
What Are The Risk Factors For Sleep Apnea
There are a variety of different risk factors that can be seen in patients who suffer from sleep apnea. The most common factors are:
- Use of drugs
- Genetics and family history
How Dangerous Is Sleep Apnea?
If untreated, sleep apnea can be very dangerous. Over time you will likely notice elevated blood pressure and you may have an increased risk for a stroke or heart failure. In addition to the medical risks of sleep apnea, being fatigued throughout the day can affect your ability to be productive at work and can have very negative affects on your social live..
What Options Are Available To Treat My Sleep Apnea?
Luckily, there is hope for those who suffer from sleep apnea. While each case will vary depending on the patient and the severity of the condition, we can help you determine how to fix your problems from sleep apnea. This could be a plan of action that includes losing weight, quitting smoking or sleeping in different positions. Another option is to use an oral device to help relax your mouth during the night while you sleep. In some cases, we may even be able to perform surgery for those who suffer from sleep apnea.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, or someone in your family does, give us a call. We aim to help patients fix the problems that they have and we will go above and beyond to ensure that you can start getting better sleep at night.