Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. These pauses in your breathing can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. They may happen 30 or more times an hour. Each time you stop breathing, you briefly wake up. As a result, sleep apnea disrupts your sleep patterns and can make you very tired during the day.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that affects millions of people. If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of sleep apnea, it is important to seek medical help. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to other health problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease. Some signs of sleep apnea include snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, and difficulty staying asleep. If you are experiencing any of these signs, talk to your doctor about getting tested for sleep apnea. Treatment for sleep apnea depends on the severity of the condition but may include lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking or losing weight or using a CPAP machine while sleeping.
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea (the most common type) occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not send the correct signals to your breathing muscles. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
- Obstructive sleep apnea (the most common type) occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep.
- Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain does not send the correct signals to your breathing muscles.
- Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea usually isn’t diagnosed on your own, but rather by a doctor or other health professional. If you think you might have sleep apnea, see your doctor. He or she will likely refer you to a sleep specialist for an overnight sleep study called polysomnography. He or she will likely ask you about your signs and symptoms, medical history, and family history. Your doctor may also recommend a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis.
Signs And Symptoms:
Many people with sleep apnea do not know they have it because the signs can be subtle. However, some signs may indicate you have sleep apnea:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Loud snoring.
- Gasping or choking during sleep.
- Waking up with a headache or dry mouth.
- Restlessness during sleep.
- Attention problems.
- Mood changes, such as irritability or depression.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Falling asleep during the day.
- You often feel exhausted during the day.
- You have difficulty staying asleep at night.
- You wake up frequently during the night.
- You sometimes gasp or choke during sleep.
- You feel irritable or depressed during the day.
- You have difficulty concentrating, especially when you are trying to do something that requires focus and attention, such as reading or driving a car.
- You fall asleep easily during the day, even if you have not had enough sleep at night.
- Your sex drive has decreased markedly since you began experiencing signs of sleep apnea. If you have two or more of these signs, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about whether you might have sleep apnea. He or she can refer you to a specialist for an evaluation.
Treatment options for sleep apnea include lifestyle changes, mouthpieces to keep your airway open, and surgery. Some people with sleep apnea also need to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night. This machine delivers pressurized air through a mask that you wear while you sleep. It keeps your airway open and prevents pauses in your breathing. ”
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Treatment can help you get better sleep and improve your health.
No matter what type of sleep apnea you have, it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. These problems include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. But with treatment, most people with sleep apnea can get better sleep and improve their health.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of sleep apnea. He or she can help determine whether you have this condition and, if so, how to treat it.