What Is Sleep Apnea
So, you may be wondering just what sleep apnea is. Sleep apnea is a condition that affects your breathing while you are asleep, and many times it is characterized by having one or more pauses in your breathing while you sleep. If it is left untreated, your breathing can become interrupted or very shallow while trying to sleep. This particular type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea.
Some of these pauses in your breathing can last for a few seconds to a few minutes and can occur as much as 30 times or more in an hour to hundreds of times during a night. When your brain detects that you have stopped breathing, it will send your body a message to start breathing again. The person suffering from sleep apnea will often choke or gasp for breath. This creates some very adverse effects on the body.
These disruptions in your sleeping patterns make it very difficult for your body to get the restorative sleep it needs to heal itself and rejuvenate itself fully. These pauses in your natural breathing patterns can often move you out of a profound sleep that your body needs into a lighter sleep. The effects I’m not getting enough rest are comprehensive in scope and can contribute to various other health factors.
This makes the quality of your sleep very poor. Many times you will wake up sleepy, tired, and you will have trouble staying awake throughout the day. Sleep apnea is the leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness and can affect us on our jobs, behind the wheel of our vehicles and even our relationships with our family and friends.
An OverView Of Sleep Apnea
More than 80% of those who suffer from sleep apnea go undiagnosed. This is because physicians usually cannot detect it during regular office visits. Also, no blood test can help in the diagnosis of sleep apnea. It can only be seen with a sleep study read by a certified sleep doctor.
Since sleep apnea only occurs while sleeping, it can go undetected for very long periods. Often, a family member notices the first symptoms, especially if the person is snoring loudly or excessively. This loud snoring has sent many spouses to another room to try and sleep.
If you have sleep apnea, you need to understand that it can affect every part of your life negatively. It can impair your memory and can cause you to lose concentration. It puts unnecessary strain on your body, especially your cardiovascular system, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. It can affect your ability to respond while driving, shorten your temper, and even your lifespan.
If you snore not at night and feel exhausted and tired all day long, it could be because you have obstructive sleep apnea. You don’t want to take the symptoms for granted, as they can be severe and life-threatening.
Sleep apnea is prevalent in overweight people, but it’s not the only factor, as many people are not heavy but still have sleep apnea. Children can also suffer from sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils.
What Are The Major Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
More than 24 million people in the United States of America suffer from sleep apnea. More than 80% of them are undiagnosed and have health problems out of control, and they don’t understand why. The quality of their lives has become severely diminished, and that’s once important to know some of the significant signs and symptoms associated with sleep apnea.
Here are a few of the signs and symptoms you may have obstructive sleep apnea:
- You have loud or chronic snoring
- You choke, snort or gasp for breath while you’re sleeping
- Long pauses while you sleep
- You have daytime sleepiness no matter how much time you spend in bed
- You wake up with a dry mouth, or you have a sore throat
- You have morning headaches, and sometimes they are severe
- Restless or fitful sleep
- You may have insomnia or nighttime awakenings
- You frequently get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom
- You wake up, and you feel out of breath
- You lose your ability to concentrate, and you become forgetful
- You experience moodiness, irritability, depression, and changes in your temperament
- You have unexpected health issues you didn’t have before, and they become more evident
- High blood pressure
If you’re experiencing any signs or symptoms, you may have obstructive sleep apnea. If you’ve never been tested for sleep apnea, you need to set up a test with a certified sleep doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.
Call our office today if you would like to help get the process started. We would be glad to help you get started on a journey to get your life and rest back.