Sleep Apnea is a dangerous disease where breathing starts and stops multiple times when one is asleep. If you snore soundly and get tired after a night's sleep, you need to be checked for the condition. There are three conditions of sleep apnea. The first is obstructive sleep apnea and involves the throat muscles relaxing when you are asleep. The second condition is central sleep apnea, which occurs when the brain doesn't send the required control signals to the muscles that aid in breathing. Finally, complex sleep apnea involves having the two conditions mentioned above simultaneously. If you feel you have any of these conditions, Smile Family Dentistry will check the situation and help treat the symptoms and will try to prevent other complications that come with the disease, including heart problems.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Symptoms and signs of sleep apnea vary in individuals, making it difficult to understand the type of apnea one is suffering. One person's symptoms may significantly differ from the other in the same condition. The common symptoms of sleep apnea include: stoppage of breathing (which is noticed by the person sleeping next to you), loud snoring, dry mouth on waking up, gasping for air during sleep, insomnia, headache after waking up, heavy sleeping during the day, irritability and being not attentive when awake. Read about more commonly missed signs of sleep apnea and alcohol's effects on sleep apnea.
Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The whole condition of obstructive sleep apnea arises when the back muscles of the throat relax during sleep. These muscles' main task is to hold up the soft palate, the tonsils, throat walls, and the tongue. When they relax, the patients’ airway closes or becomes narrow, leading to difficulty in breathing. This low air reduces the blood's oxygen concentration, which, when sensed, ignites the brain to wake you up briefly and open the airway. It's not easy for the patient to notice the wake-up process, and they might choke, snort or gasp for air during the process, which recurs at least five to thirty times per hour, making one have an uncomfortable night's sleep.
Causes of Central Sleep Apnea
Central Sleep Apnea is less common, and it involves the brain's inability to send the right signals to the breathing muscles, rendering one breathless for a short time. It leads to the patient waking up due to breathing problems or having difficulties falling and staying asleep.
Risk Factors of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Several factors lead to an obstructive sleep apnea condition. Some of these factors include excessive weight, a narrowed airway, thicker neck circumference, aging, family history, drug use, nasal congestion, smoking, and underlying medical conditions. Males are at a high risk of suffering this condition.
Find out if you are at risk for sleep apnea.
Risk Factors of Central Sleep Apnea
The risk factors of central sleep apnea are less than obstructive and are mostly associated with old age. Some of the factors include being a male, old age, long-acting narcotics in medication, heart conditions, and stroke.
If suffering from any of the symptoms highlighted above, a doctor will check for the signs and symptoms and offer you the right medication. For more information regarding sleep apnea, call Smile Family Dentistry at 925-414-4128 now.