What is Sleep Apnea? It’s a disorder that causes pauses in your breathing during brief periods while you sleep. These pauses tend to last 10-20 seconds at a time, but can occur up to hundreds of times during the night. These pauses not only disrupt your body’s sleep cycle, causing daytime sleepiness, slowed reflexes, and poor concentration and coordination, they can also contribute to serious systematic diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common, and occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes and blocks your airway. OSA is the main cause of excessive snoring in adults. Central sleep apnea is less common than the obstructive type, but can also be more serious. Central sleep apnea is caused by a failure in the brain to signal the muscles that control your breathing. CSA does not normally cause snoring. Complex sleep apnea is a very uncommon combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The symptoms of sleep apnea can be subtle, especially if you have central sleep apnea or do not have a bed mate to notice whether or not you are snoring. However, there are some main symptoms you should be on the look out for, including excessive sluggishness, morning headaches, memory loss, trouble concentrating, waking up frequently to use the bathroom, dry mouth and/or throat upon waking, and irritability or other mood and personality changes. Keep in mind that children can also develop sleep apnea, so take note of any snoring, strange sleeping positions, bed wetting episodes, or night terrors in your children.
Risk Factors Association With Untreated Sleep Apnea
Left untreated, sleep apnea can do a lot more than leave you feeling tired-it can also cause serious issues with your health. Studies show that over time sleep apnea can contribute to such diseases as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and even stroke. However, the good news is that sleep apnea is easily treated with a face mask and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The CPAP machine combined with a special fitting mask deliver gently flowing air, which keeps your airways open while you sleep.
If you or a loved one shows any signs of sleep apnea, it is vital that you make an appointment with your family doctor as soon as possible. He or she will schedule a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea, and what kind. Diagnosing and treating your sleep apnea quickly will not only improve the quality of your sleep, but it will help keep you healthy in the long run!
Sleep Apnea Resources
Sleep Apnea Services in Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Dr. Wolnik offers sleep apnea services in his Parma Heights office, located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
If you believe you have sleep apnea, please give us a call or stop by our office:
6363 York Rd, Ste 202
Parma Heights, OH 44130
Monday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Friday: 7:30am – 1:00pm