Sleep apnea can disrupt your sleep. It is characterized by repeated breathing interruption, which causes sleep problems. Health experts have described this condition as a major health risk. This is true because untreated conditions are likely to cause liver problems, diabetes, dementia, and high blood pressure. According to a series of research, older adults with this condition are at high risk of dying from this condition, especially if they experience daytime apnea too. Book an appointment with Scott Young DDS today if you have sleep apnea in The Woodlands.
What are the types of sleep apnea?
- Obstructive sleep apnea: This is the type that occurs in most patients. It occurs after the relaxation of muscles.
- Central sleep apnea: This type of apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals properly to control breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea: This type is also referred to as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. It occurs when a patient has central and obstructive sleep apnea. Experts recommend seeing a doctor as soon as we suspect these conditions instead of risking other complications such as heart problems.
Symptoms of sleep apnea
There are wide ranges of central and obstructive symptoms that overlap, making it a challenge for patients to determine which type they have. The most common ones include:
- Gasping for air and loud snoring during sleep.
- Occasional stop of breath at night. The patients may not be aware of it.
- Difficulties having a good night’s sleep which is also known as insomnia.
- Unusual daytime sleepiness or also known as hypersomnia.
- Challenges paying attention even while still awake.
- Dry mouth after sleep and morning headaches.
Risk factors of sleep apnea
According to research, there are specific factors that increase the risk of developing this condition. They include:
- Obesity: You are at risk of developing sleep apnea if you are overweight. This is because of the blockage of the upper airway due to fat deposits. Blockage obstructs breathing.
- Narrowed airway: Having a narrow airway may result from a genetic trait. Children at higher risk when adenoids and tonsils block their airways.
- Age: Sleep apnea has been found to occur mostly in adults.
- Smoking: Smokers are likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea three times more than non-smokers. This is because smoking increases fluid retention and inflammation in the upper airway.
- Medical conditions: Untreated sleep apnea could lead to more complicated conditions. Likewise, patients are at risk of developing sleep apnea if they have high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, and type II diabetes. Other conditions such as hormonal disorders and chronic lung disease have the same effects.
When to see a doctor
You should seek medical attention for the diagnosis of sleep apnea if you experience loud snoring. However, snoring does not always mean you have sleep apnea. You should look out for the rest of the signs and symptoms. Dentists use mouth guards, laser treatment, and other appliances to treat sleep apnea. Book an appointment today for a consultation and treatment if you suspect this condition.