What is Sleep Apnea?

By on October 17, 2018 under Sleep Apnea, Sleep Health, Snoring

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious problem that takes place when you are sleeping. In short, an individual will stop breathing momentarily throughout the night. For those who are not getting the right treatment for their sleep apnea, other health issues may begin to present themselves.

Sleep Apnea Types

There are two main types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA is a common type of sleep apnea and it is the result of blockage in the airway. It takes place if the soft tissue within the back of the throat begins to collapse when you are sleeping.

Central sleep apnea is contrary to OSA and the airways will not be blocked; however, the brain will not send the required signals to the muscle to breathe because of instability of the respiratory control center.

Who is at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea may affect anybody, including children. The risk factors of sleep apnea include the following:

  • You are over 40 years of age
  • You are overweight
  • You are male
  • You have a large neck size
  • You have large tonsils, small jaw bone with a large tongue
  • You have a history of sleep apnea in the family
  • You are suffering from GERD or gastroesophageal reflux
  • You have nasal obstruction which is caused by sinus problems, allergies or a deviated septum.

Sleep Apnea Effects

When sleep apnea is not treated well, it may lead to many other health problems, including:

  • Headaches
  • Worsening of ADHD
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure

Sleep apnea may cause poor performance in daily activities like school and work. It can also cause motor vehicle crashes and academic underachievement in adolescents and children.

Symptoms of sleep apnea                        

It is important to know whether you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea so that the right plan of treatment can be started as soon as possible. Here are some of the symptoms you must be aware of:

  • Waking up with a dry and sore throat
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up with a gasping and choking sensation
  • Lack of energy or sleepiness during the day
  • Sleepiness when driving
  • Restless sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Recurrent awakening and insomnia
  • Mood changes with forgetfulness

If you believe that you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, contact our office today to schedule your initial appointment!