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Wake Up and Breathe!

Sleep Apnea For some individuals, their brain sends this message several times a night. For others, it can be as much as 400 times a night. Sleep apnea affects your breathing for 10 to 30 seconds during each occurrence. You may not even be aware that you are constantly waking up through the night, although the symptoms may be very clear.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Your partner may be more aware of your symptoms than you are. The common signs of the condition are:
  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of concentration
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue during the day
While sleep apnea may seem like it is only an inconvenience and a condition that you can live with, the truth is, if not treated, it can lead to serious health problems.

The Three Types of Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common of the three types. When the throat muscles relax during sleep, they obstruct the airway. After a few seconds of not receiving oxygen, the brain signals the body to wake up and breathe. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain does not send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. The third type of sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and CSA. It is called complex sleep apnea syndrome.

Health Concerns with Sleep Apnea

In addition to the symptoms of the condition which can lower your quality of life – always tired, morning headaches, lack of concentration and more, sleep apnea is also linked with other conditions. Cardiovascular problems, stroke and type 2 diabetes are associated with sleep apnea. Although most people who suffer from sleep apnea are obese, not everyone with the condition is overweight. Studies have shown that people with sleep apnea are at a higher risk for stroke. They are also more likely to have a heart attack. The lifespan of people with sleep apnea may be shorter because of the condition.

Breathe and Sleep Soundly

Treating sleep apnea can improve your quality of life and your partner’s as well. If you are overweight, losing the excess weight will help. If your doctor prescribes a CPAP machine or a nightguard appliance, use it faithfully. Adhering to treatment will help you sleep better and live a healthier life. Schedule a consultation Appointment with Dr. Scott Babin for treatment for your sleep apnea.

Posted on behalf of Scott A. Babin, DDS and Associates

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