What is Sleep Apnea?
Affecting 5-10% of adults in the United States, sleep apnea is the involuntary cessation, or stopping, of breathing during sleep. If you have sleep apnea, you are probably not aware of the short pauses in your breathing that occur hundreds of times per night. Even though you might not wake up during these pauses in breathing, your natural sleep rhythm is affected. This can leave you feeling tired or not as mentally sharp throughout the day.
Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression and stroke. In addition, sleep apnea can cause moodiness, irritability, and can even lead to depression. With help from Dr. Lunson, a Houston sleep specialist, you can gain control of your snoring and sleep apnea and get back on track to feeling 100% again.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three main types of sleep apnea, each with their own symptoms and causes:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is the most common type of sleep apnea. OSA occurs when the thorat muscles relax and block your airway during sleep. One of the main indicators for obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. Often, OSA can be treated by an oral appliance.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send the proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea cannot be treated with an oral appliance.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea. Treatment for MSA is slightly tougher, as the apneas are being caused by multiple sources.
It’s important to consult a Houston sleep specialist if you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea.
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Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
On your own, it is hard to identify sleep apnea since the most obvious symptoms only occur when you’re asleep. If you have a bed partner, ask them to observe your sleep habits. You can also record yourself while you sleep. If you observe pauses while you snore or if you observe choking or gasping, these are major indicators that you have sleep apnea.
Major Warning Signs
- Pauses in your breathing
- Loud and chronic snoring
- Choking, gasping or snorting during sleep
- Daytime fatigue no matter how long you slept
- Waking up at night feeling out of breath
Minor Warning Signs
- Morning headaches
- Waking up with a dry mouth or a sore throat
- Frequent trips to the bathroom at night
- Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
- Insomnia or restless, fitful sleep
Sleep apnea is no joke. If you or a family member are experiencing signs of sleep apnea, it is best to schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist in Houston.
20 Years Experience
Science is proving more and more that sleep is absolutely a vital part of your health. Everything works better when your body is well-rested. Don’t go another sleepless night without setting up an appointment to see Dr. Lunson.