Sleep apnea is often misunderstood.
Sleep apnea has a number of causes and symptoms that influence the approach to treatment. It can often go undiagnosed until severe symptoms develop. Learning about the symptoms of sleep apnea can help you know if you should seek treatment.
Why Can’t I Sleep? – How Sleep Apnea Affects your Breathing
The most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the patient’s breathing is obstructed for some physical reason while sleeping. There are many sleep apnea contributors including weight, sleeping position, age, in addition to pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and genetics.
OSA narrows the airway during sleep stopping you from getting the oxygen you need. Sleep apnea can cause a person to stop breathing for up to 10-20 seconds at a time. The frequency of how often breathing stops determines whether sleep apnea is mild, moderate, or severe. Ultimately, all types of sleep apnea can take a drastic toll on your ability to get the quality sleep you need.
The Most Dire Symptom of Sleep Apnea
Snoring is one of the most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea. That said, it’s more of an indicator than a major issue. The most serious symptom of sleep apnea is how it prevents you from getting adequate rest throughout the night.
If you have sleep apnea, you can still feel exhausted even after a long night of rest. When you wake up in the morning and still feel tired, it affects everything you do throughout the day. We want to restore your restful sleep and give you the energy to tackle the day.
What are obstructive sleep apnea causes & risk factors?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by a blockage of the airway. This may happen due to the result of your throat muscles relaxing while you sleep. Sometimes it’s caused by a narrow throat or neck. While it’s typically more prevalent in men, women can be at risk for OSA too.
Other health conditions and lifestyles that can cause OSA includes:
- Excessive use of alcohol or sedatives
- A large tongue or neck, or narrow throat
- Excessive growth hormone, leading to abnormal growth
Sleep Apnea Starts Small and Becomes More Severe
Sleep apnea doesn’t start out causing strokes and heart disease – it gradually gets to that point over time. See how untreated sleep apnea evolves from a minor issue to a life-threatening problem:
- You notice trouble sleeping through the night and your partner complains of snoring.
- After ignoring the snoring problem, you now notice being more tired during the day.
- Along with increased fatigue, irritability and depression are setting in.
- At work, you’re finding it hard to remember important tasks and fantasize about sleep.
- At this point, your blood pressure has skyrocketed and you’re on the verge of a stroke.
- Heart disease, stroke, and even death are possible with long term sleep apnea.
What sleep position is best for sleep apnea?
If you suffer from sleep apnea, it’s best to learn to sleep on your side rather than on your back. You’re more likely to have difficulty breathing if you lay on your back because your airway is more easily obstructed. Training yourself to sleep on your side can help improve your sleep apnea symptoms.
Taking the Sleep Apnea Test
Many of the early symptoms of sleep apnea are fairly common behaviors. To find out if you have sleep apnea, you have to take a sleep test. These can be administered via a home test or during an overnight stay in a sleep clinic. These tests are important in order for your doctor to diagnose the disorder and find a solution that will meet your specific needs.
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Begin Sleep Apnea Treatment at Ralhan Dental
If you suspect that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it’s best to find out for sure by taking a sleep test. Catching the disorder early can mean the difference between minor breathing problems and life-threatening strokes. Fortunately, those who reside near Ontario can visit Ralhan Dental in two different locations: Oakville and Burlington. Contact us today!