What Exactly is Sleep Apnea?

By on February 5, 2019 under castle rock, denver, ear nose throat doctor, ent, lone tree, Sleep Health, sleep studies

What Exactly is Sleep Apnea?

When your partner is sleeping, do you notice that they snore very loudly or seem to be gasping for air during sleep? Or perhaps you have heard this about yourself. If so, this may be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep.

There are two main types of sleep apnea, including:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This is the most common form of sleep apnea and is caused by a blockage of the airway. This usually occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.

Center sleep apnea: With this form of sleep apnea, the airway is not blocked, but the brain does not signal the muscles to breathe, due to issues in the respiratory control center.

Who is at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect people at any age, even children! However, there are some risk factors, which include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being over the age of 40
  • Being male
  • Having a large neck size
  • Having large tonsils or a large tongue
  • Having a family history of sleep apnea

If you or a loved one fit into these descriptions and you believe they may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

What Happens If I Don’t Treat My Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can become a very serious issue when left untreated. It can increase the risk of many health problems like high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, depression, headaches, and worsening ADHD.

At our Denver, Lone Tree, and Castle Rock offices, we offer home sleep studies to help diagnose sleep apnea, and sleep apnea treatments to keep the issue under control. Contact us today to get started on your treatment.