Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Do I Suffer from Sleep Apnea?
If you’ve been dealing with feeling groggy and can’t concentrate on your work, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when there are pauses that cause you to completely stop breathing as you sleep at night. There are two major types of sleep apnea – obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and central sleep apnea (CSA). There is also the much more uncommon complex sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can affect your lifestyle and cause various health issues. At the Center for Dental Sleep Health, Dr. Stephen Ura provides a friendly guide to understanding how sleep apnea can affect your health.
Types of Sleep Apnea
If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, your muscles relax enough to allow the soft tissue in your throat to fall back and block your airway while you sleep. This leads to pauses in your breathing that can occur between five and 30 times every hour. You partially wake up each time you resume breathing, and this dramatically disrupts your ability to get a good night’s rest.
Central sleep apnea results when the patient’s brain fails to send the body a signal to breathe. It’s often accompanied by additional symptoms such as weakness, numbness, and tingling throughout the body. This is a sign that the brain isn’t properly communicating with the muscles that cause your lungs to breathe.
Also possible is complex sleep apnea, where both central and obstructive sleep apnea occurs at once. This condition, however, is exceedingly rare.
Genetic Risk Factors for OSA
Many of the key risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea are genetic in nature, meaning you were born with them. Some of the most significant genetic risk factors of sleep apnea include:
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Small lower jaw
- Male gender
- Large tonsils
- Hypothyroidism (abnormally low activity of the thyroid gland)
- Acromegaly (abnormal growth of the hands, feet, and face)
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Body
Sleep apnea results in significant oxygen deprivation. Over time, this takes a major toll on your health. Untreated sleep apnea is associated with many harmful conditions including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, diabetes, liver disease, and cancer.
Other side effects people suffer from with this sleep condition include:
- Daytime drowsiness and fatigue
- Morning headaches
- Sleep deprivation
- Dry mouth and throat
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
Sleep Apnea & Your Well-Being
Your sleep apnea is too dangerous to ignore, so you shouldn’t wait for it to seriously damage your health before you get your diagnosis. A sleep test can be administered at a sleep center, but Dr. Ura makes it easy for you to take a sleep test at home. That way, a qualified sleep physician can diagnose your sleep apnea and prescribe a suitable course of treatment.
If you think that you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, contact Dr. Ura at the Center for Dental Sleep Health today. We feature real solutions for sleep apnea, including our custom-made oral appliance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of sleep apnea?
There are three different types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This is the most common type of sleep apnea. OSA happens when breathing stops involuntarily for periods of time during sleep due to the airway becoming blocked, narrowed, or floppy.
- Central sleep apnea: This type of sleep apnea produces no airway blockage, but the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the respiratory muscles to breathe.
- Mixed sleep apnea: This is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
What can happen if sleep apnea goes untreated?
The side effects of sleep apnea can disrupt your daily life because of the disorder’s potential impact on your overall health and well-being. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to:
- Low energy and reduced productivity
- Irritability, anxiety, mood swings
- Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks
What causes airway obstruction?
There are various causes for an obstructed airway. In fact, some of them are out of your control. Factors such as obesity and physical traits, such as an enlarged neck, can cause airway obstruction, which results in sleep apnea. An individual who lives with obesity often develops sleep apnea due to enlarged tissues in the throat or mouth.
What are the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
Symptoms associated with OSA include:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Waking up with a dry mouth in the morning
- Lack of motivation
- Frequent urination during the night.
If you’re experiencing one or more of the following above, schedule a consultation with your sleep apnea dentist.
Schedule Your Consultation With Our Nashua Dentist!
Take the next step and schedule a free consultation with Dr. Ura to discuss your symptoms and discover what’s the next step. The Center for Dental Sleep Health offers quiet, travel-friendly, and easy-to-use alternatives to treat sleep apnea.
If you have any questions, give our Nashua office a call at (603) 237-1124 or fill out our contact form below and we’ll get back to you soon. Dr. Ura and our team proudly provide sleep apnea services to the Nashua community as well as surrounding areas such as Hudson, Merrimack, and Milford, NH. Reclaim quality sleep today.