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Are you drowsy during the day with no explanation? Do you snore loudly or wake up breathless in the middle of the night? If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be one of more individuals suffering from sleep apnea.
WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops periodically during sleep, as many as 20-30 times per hour. Each time you stop breathing in your sleep, the resulting lack of oxygen alerts your brian, which temporarily wakes you up to restart proper breathing. Since the time spent awake is so brief, most people with sleep apnea don’t remember it, and many believe they are getting a good night’s sleep when in fact they are not. The constant wake-sleep-wake-sleep cycle prevents those with sleep apnea from achieving deep sleep, resulting in a constant drowsy feeling during the day.
SIGNS OF SLEEP APNEA
IS SLEEP APNEA DANGEROUS?
Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical problem and if left untreated it can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart failure and stroke. The ongoing state of fatigue caused by sleep apnea can lead to problems at work or school, as well as danger when driving or operating heavy machinery. Sleep apnea can also cause complications with medication or surgery; sedation by anesthesia can be risky, as can lying flat in bed after an operation. If yo know or suspect you suffer from sleep apnea, let your family doctor know before taking prescribed medication or having surgery.
Treatments for sleep apnea depend on the severity of each individual case and the type of apnea. Basic treatment can be behavioral - for instance, patients are instructed to loose weight, stop smoking or sleep on their sides instead of on their backs. Beyond that oral devices can be used to position the mouth in such a way that prevents throat blockage. In more severe cases, surgery may be the best option.
IF YOU SUSPECT SOMEONE HAVING SLEEP APNEA
Contact our clinic ask we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist. The specialist may recommend a sleep study to diagnose the precise extent of the problem and can prescribe appropriate treatment. Depending on your situation, treatment may involve an oral device that we can custom made for you.