Sleep apnea is a disorder that has become incredibly common in recent years. The key characteristics of this disorder are pauses in breathing extremely shallow breathing during sleep. These pauses or cycles of shallow breathing can be as short as 10 seconds or last many minutes. Those suffering from sleep apnea can experience more than 30 episodes in an hour. Many individuals who have this disorder do not realize it, but since it prevents deep sleep, they often feel lethargic during the day.
Types of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a complex disorder, and there are three different types that a patient might have. The most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA); about 84% of sleep apnea suffers have this type. This type of sleep apnea occurs when something physically obstructs the airway, resulting in restricted airflow and causing the individual to snore. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) occurs due to a lack of respiratory effort. Complex Sleep Apnea, also known as Mixed Sleep Apnea, is when the individual suffers from a combination of OSA and CSA.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
In many cases, it isn’t the patient who notices their symptoms, but those around them. The following symptoms can indicate sleep apnea. If you or those around you notice any of these symptoms, please let us know. We will work with a sleep apnea specialist to help you.
- Feeling fatigued during the day
- Increased reaction time
- Blurring vision and other vision problems
- Struggling to maintain attention and complete work effectively
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Sleep paralysis
- Loud snoring
- Feeling short of breath when waking
- Snorting or choking during the night
- Frequent headaches, especially upon waking up
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea treatment usually starts concretively with behavior therapy. In many cases, symptoms can be reduced or eliminated by modifying habits and behaviors. We can also fabricate a device that shifts the lower jaw to open the airway. Additional treatment may be recommended by a sleep apnea specialist.