Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that if left untreated, can be life-threatening. The condition occurs when a person’s breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. This means that the brain and the rest of the body do not get enough oxygen. Sleep apnea has two types, namely: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition wherein the airway is blocked when throat muscles relax or collapse during sleep. Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea can sometimes overlap, making it hard to determine which type of sleep apnea a person is suffering from. The most common signs and symptoms include:
Loud snoring is one of the indications that a person has sleep apnea. However, that is not always the case; not everyone who has the disorder snores loudly. If you suspect that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, consult the doctor immediately to get proper treatment.
Sleep apnea can lead to certain complications which may include:
Daytime fatigue. The frequent waking up at night is typically associated with sleep apnea. This can make the person experience severe daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and irritability.
High blood pressure or heart problems. Since the brain and the rest of the body do not get enough oxygen, this can lead to an increase in blood pressure and strain in the cardiovascular system. Sleep apnea makes a person more prone to experiencing hypertension and heart problems such as recurrent heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heartbeats.
Type 2 diabetes. When a person has sleep apnea, this increases their risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Liver problems. People suffering from sleep apnea are more likely to have abnormal results on liver function tests. Their livers may show signs of scarring.
Complications with medications and surgery. People with sleep apnea are more susceptible to have complications after undergoing major surgery. This is because they are prone to breathing problems, especially when under sedation while lying on their backs.
If you’re suffering from a sleep disorder that causes breathing pauses, then it may be Sleep Apnea! Book your appointment immediately at Parkside Family Dentistry for Sleep Apnea Treatment in Bridgewater, VA. You can visit us at 100 Parkside Drive, Bridgewater, VA 22812.