What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a respiratory ailment which causes a person’s breathing to stop involuntarily during sleep cycles. The scientific term “apnea” stands for cessation of breathing. The condition becomes sleep apnea if the breathing is paused for at least 10 seconds or more during sleep. This disturbance can occur many times per hour, causing great discomfort for the sleeper.
Both children and adults can suffer from this disease. Aging adults over the age of 65 years have a greater disposition towards acquiring it. Certain hereditary and ethnic factors also contribute to the probability of getting this condition. Regardless of the reasons behind it, our team are ready and waiting to help.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Regular snoring can be often confused with this ailment. However, sleep apnea has more far-reaching symptoms such as choking and gasping throughout the night, waking up with dryness in the mouth or headaches and extreme daytime fatigue.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Essentially, sleep apnea is caused by the repeated blockage of the airway from the nose to the lungs. This can be due to several reasons such as having a recessed chin, low jawline or a constricted upper airway. People with neck circumferences more than 40 centimeters also have chances of developing sleep apnea. Come and visit us and we can try to determine the cause for you.
One can have difficulty breathing in just a particular sleeping position or throughout their sleeping period. It is important to know that not all who snore have sleep apnea. Most people are unaware that they are experiencing sleep apnea until diagnosed or noted by their partner.
How Can Sleep Apnea Affect your Quality of Life?
Sleep apnea causes fragmented sleep which slows the release of oxygen to the blood. In the long term, it can have many negative effects on mood and lifestyle. High blood pressure, diabetes, risk of stroke, cardiovascular diseases and psychological changes such as irritability and depression heighten when fighting sleep apnea. If lack of sleep is affecting your quality of life, come and see us so that we can help.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three major types of sleep apnea diagnosed in people. They are:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – This is caused by the relaxation of throat muscles which loosen up to block the airway to the lung. The tongue rolls back against the person’s throat and creates a physical barrier for the airflow. Choking, gasping and heavy snoring is symptoms of OSA.
Central sleep apnea (CSA) – This type of apnea is a neurological condition, not a respiratory one. In this form of apnea, the brain does not send the correct signal to the muscles telling them to breathe. Snoring is not normally associated with CSA.
Complex sleep apnea (CompSAS) – CompSAS is a combination of both OSA and CSA, exhibiting features of both types of apnea. It is more complicated to detect and treat.
To know more about sleep apnea, talk to the experienced professionals at Jon C. Packman DDS at (704) 978-7060 today!