More than 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. It’s a condition that causes your breathing to stop 20-30 times per hour while you sleep. Each time waking your brain up momentarily to restart breathing. Most people who experience it don’t notice the waking up because it is so brief, but they tend to be constantly drowsy due to a lack of deep sleep.
The symptoms of sleep apnea
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact East End Dental Wellness and set up an appointment:
- Difficulty sleeping/insomnia
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with difficulty breathing
- Morning headaches
- Unusual or extreme fatigue during the day
The three types of sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) happens when physical blockage (usually collapsed soft tissue in the throat) restricts breathing.
Central sleep apnea (CSA) happens when the muscles that assist breathing don’t receive a proper signal from the brain. It is far less common than OSA.
Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and CSA.
Sleep apnea is most common in males ages 40+, though anyone can experience it.
The risk factors for sleep apnea
Some potential risk factors include:
- Sedative medications
- Heart disorders
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Brain tumors
- Family history of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea can lead to serious medical problems if left untreated. Not to mention the dangers that extreme fatigue produces (risk of car accidents, problems at work/school, etc.). Here are some of the potential dangers:
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of heart failure or stroke
- Increased risk of complications during surgery
For less severe cases, we recommend behavioral changes like losing weight, quitting tobacco, and sleeping on the side instead of the back. For more severe cases, we can help you find an oral device that prevents throat blockage. The most severe cases require surgery.
Contact East End Dental Wellness immediately and we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist who may recommend a sleep study and a treatment plan.