Sleep apnea occurs when one’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. Those affected by sleep apnea may stop breathing many times during their sleep. This means that the body and brain may not get enough oxygen. There are two types of sleep apnea, Obstructive sleep apnea and Central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form, occurs when a person’s throat muscles relax. Central sleep apnea occurs when one’s brain does not send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing.
SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP APNEA
Patients who suffer from sleep apnea could experience many common symptoms. People who experience loud snoring, waking up with a very sore or dry throat, or waking up with a choking or gasping sensation could have this disorder. In addition, sleep apnea has been known to cause morning headaches, restless sleep, and lack of energy during the day. Dr. Salvatore Pizzino recommends patients with symptoms related to sleep apnea seek dental care to prevent further health risks.
CAUSES OF SLEEP APNEA
There are many causes of sleep apnea. Some of the main causes for obstructive sleep apnea are that a person’s throat muscles and tongue relax more than usual, being overweight, or if a one’s tong and tonsils are large compared to the opening of their windpipe. Some of the causes for central sleep apnea include heart failure or damage to the brain stem.
DID YOU KNOW?
Over 40 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder, and 20 million suffer from obstructive sleep apnea? Only 93% of women and 82% of men with moderate to severe OSA remain undiagnosed. Take this short questionnaire to determine your risk of OSA.
Treating sleep apnea is extremely important. Left untreated, this disorder could cause stroke or heart failure. Ways to treat sleep apnea include lifestyle changes, continuous positive airway pressure, and sleep apnea and dental devices. For severe cases, there are surgical options.
To further understand sleep apnea and help patients, Dr. Pizzino will begin offering at-home sleep studies. The home sleep testing program has opened the door for increased diagnosis resulting in more patients receiving the proper medical care they need.