What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes sufferers to stop breathing, waking them up several times throughout the night. These episodes greatly interfere with the restful sleep everyone needs to stay healthy.
Knowing what causes this disorder and which symptoms to look for can help you determine if you have sleep apnea and need to seek treatment right away. If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, visit Dr. Solly to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment solution.
of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea constantly interrupts your sleep, preventing you from getting the quality rest you need to stay healthy. While symptoms aren’t always the same among different patients, these are some of the most common ones that may indicate you have sleep apnea.
- Waking up tired
- Memory loss and short attention span
- Headaches, especially when you first wake up
- Irritability/short temper
- Loud, disruptive snoring
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Pauses in breathing
- Gasping for air, choking noises, and/or shortness of breath
Causes and Risk Factors
for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, causing the airway to narrow or even completely close while you’re breathing. Your brain will sense that you’re unable to take a full breath and wake you up so the airway reopens. This instinct prevents you from suffocating, but it also interferes dramatically with your sleep. In severe cases, this pattern of momentarily losing your breath and waking up can occur more than 30 times per hour.
While there’s no guarantee you won’t develop sleep apnea, being aware of common risk factors and doing your best to avoid them is always a good plan. Some of these factors include:
- Being male
- Being older
- Being overweight or obese
- Use of substances, such as alcohol, sedatives, or smoking
- An inherited narrow airway
- A large neck circumference
- A family history of sleep apnea
There’s no question that losing weight and reducing your alcohol or tobacco intake will help you stay healthier and likely improve your symptoms. However, it’s still very important to seek diagnosis and treatment from a professional to ensure you avoid long-term health complications.
Visit Dr. Solly for Sleep Apnea Treatment
The first step to any sleep apnea treatment is getting a proper diagnosis from a qualified sleep doctor. Dr. Solly will provide you with a take-home sleep test that monitors your breathing. Next, a specialist can review the results to determine if you’re suffering from sleep apnea.
Once you’re diagnosed, Dr. Solly can work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs. For patients who are uncomfortable wearing CPAP masks, we offer non-invasive oral appliances as an alternative.
Without treatment, sleep apnea can lead to very serious consequences like heart failure or depression, and it’s possible to even die from it. That’s why it’s important you seek help immediately if you notice any potential signs of the disorder. Contact our practice today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Solly — we’ll help you get the restorative sleep you need.