Sleep Apnea—An Introduction

Sleep Apnea—An Introduction

Sleep apnea is an all too common problem that can come with devastating consequence for your health. In many cases people with sleep apnea don’t realize that they have a problem and it can’t be diagnosed by a blood test. It is important to understand more about sleep apnea so that you can recognize the problem and get the help you need before your long-term health and quality of life suffers. Keep reading to learn more about sleep apnea and find out how to recognize it.

Sleep Apnea Basics
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes someone to stop breathing on and off throughout the night. People with sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times each night. This disrupts your sleep and keeps you in a lighter stage of sleep where you don’t get the rest you need.

There are different kinds of sleep apnea—central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea.

sleep apneaCentral sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t properly signal the muscles that control breathing.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This condition occurs when your airway collapses or gets blocked while you sleep.

Complex sleep apnea occurs if someone has central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea at the same time.

What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?
Many people have sleep apnea without realizing it, which is why it is important to recognize signs and symptoms of this condition.

Common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
• Chronic, loud snoring
• Frequent headaches and migraines
• Restless sleep
• Waking up from a gasping or choking sensation
• Having a sore throat—particularly in the morning
• Feeling irritable
• Getting sleepy while you drive
• Having difficulty concentrating
• Being forgetful
• Feeling fatigued throughout the day even when you think you’ve gotten 7 or 8 hours of sleep

If you notice any of these symptoms or signs, you may have sleep apnea. While it may be wise to visit a doctor, did you know you should also visit your dentist? In many cases moderate sleep apnea can be treated with a special dental sleep device. To learn more about sleep apnea, contact Dr. Eric Wiitala today.