Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted while sleeping. Sleep apnea, if left untreated, leads patients to cease breathing hundreds of times during the night. Because it affects oxygen balance in the body, untreated sleep apnea raises the risk of a variety of cardiovascular disorders, including high blood pressure, heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing stops and resumes during sleep. Here’s a summary of sleep apnea symptoms. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes uneven breathing while sleeping. Sleep apnea patients have frequent long pauses in their breathing while sleeping. These brief pauses in breathing degrade sleep quality and limit the body’s oxygen supply, potentially leading to serious health consequences. It can affect children, adults, and people of both sexes, though men are more likely to be affected.
What are the different types of sleep apnea?
- The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea, which happens when the muscles in the throat relax.
- When your brain fails to send sufficient signals to the muscles that control your breathing, you have central sleep apnea.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, is defined by the presence of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
What are the signs of sleep apnea?
Both obstructive and central sleep apnea symptoms overlap, making it difficult to determine which type you have. Look for the symptoms of sleep apnea in your child also. The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas are as follows:
- Obnoxious snoring
- Episodes in which you stop breathing while asleep — as related by someone else
- During sleep, you’re gasping for air.
- Waking up with a dry tongue
- A headache in the morning
- Difficulties falling asleep (insomnia)
- Excessive drowsiness during the day (hypersomnia)
- Difficulty staying awake and paying attention
What Are the Health Consequences of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can induce sleep deprivation owing to frequent overnight interruptions and shallower overall sleep. Sleep deprivation is related to far-reaching health implications that affect a person physically, intellectually, and emotionally, so it’s no wonder that sleep apnea has been linked to a variety of health issues. If ignored, sleep apnea can lead to several health problems, including hypertension, stroke, cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the heart’s muscle tissue), heart failure, diabetes, and heart attacks. Untreated sleep apnea can also result in occupational impairment, work-related accidents, car accidents, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents.
Who is affected by sleep apnea?
A quarter of males and a tenth of females suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, including infants and children, but it is most frequent in people over the age of 50 and those who are overweight. Certain physical and clinical traits are common in obstructive sleep apnea patients. Excess weight, a large neck, and structural defects that narrow the upper airway, such as nasal obstruction, a low-hanging soft palate, swollen tonsils, or a petite jaw with an overbite, are examples.
We hope that this blog has provided you with all of the knowledge you need regarding sleep apnea. Are you looking for the best sleep apnea treatment in Winchester, VA? Visit us at Smiles of Virginia and we will take care of all your dental problems.