What Is Sleep Apnea?

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Apr 01, 2023

Sleep apnea is a sleeping condition marked by frequent breathing interruptions while sleeping. Sleep apnea causes people to snore loudly and wake up frequently during the night, leaving them tired and unrefreshed in the morning.Sleep apnea can have serious consequences, such as an increased risk of hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and car accidents. It can also cause fatigue, memory issues, and a lower quality of life.

What Causes Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is caused by various factors that can obstruct or restrict airflow during sleep, resulting in breathing pauses. The following are some of thecommon causes of sleep apnea:

  • Obesity: Carrying too much weight around the neck can pressure the airway thus contribute to sleep apnea.
  • Sleep apnea can run in families, and some research suggests that specific genes may increase the likelihood of developing the condition.
  • Aging causes the muscles in the throat to weaken, increasing the risk of sleep apnea.
  • Nasal congestion: A blockage of the nasal passages can make breathing through the nose difficult, leading to sleep apnea.
  • Smoking can irritate and inflame the airways, making it difficult to breathe while sleeping.
  • Alcohol and certain drugs can relax the muscles in the throat, increasing the risk of sleep apnea.
  • Neurological conditions like stroke, spinal cord injury, or Parkinson’s disease can affect breathing muscles and contribute to sleep apnea.
  • Sleeping on your back can cause the tongue and soft tissues in your throat to collapse to the back of your throat, obstructing the airway.

It is important to note that different people may suffer from sleep apnea despite having no obvious risk factors. A sleep study by the Philadelphia dentists, during which the patient’s sleep patterns and breathing are monitored, is required for an accurate diagnosis of sleep apnea.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea symptoms vary from person to person, but common signs include the following:

  • Snoring loudly and continuously is a common symptom of sleep apnea.
  • Choking or gasping: People with sleep apnea may make choking or gasping sounds during the night as they wake up briefly to resume breathing.
  • Breathing pauses: Sleep apnea is characterized by breathing pauses during sleep that can last from a few seconds to several minutes.
  • Daytime fatigue: Even after a full night’s sleep, people with sleep apnea may feel exhausted during the day
  • Insomnia: A common symptom of sleep apnea is difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  • Morning headache: People with sleep apnea may wake up with a headache due to the nightly pauses in breathing.
  • Problems with concentration, memory, and attention: Sleep apnea can impair sleep quality, resulting in difficulties with concentration, memory, and attention.
  • People with sleep apnea may move around a lot during the night as they try to find a comfortable position that allows them to breathe more easily.
  • Reduced libido: Sleep apnea can reduce sexual desire as well as sexual performance.

If you think you are experiencing sleep apnea, you should see your dentist at the Dental Spa – Philadelphia. A sleep study can aid in the confirmation of the diagnosis and the severity of the condition. Sleep apnea can be treated early to help prevent serious health problems and improve quality of life.

Sleep apnea Treatment Philadelphia, PA

The goal of treating sleep apnea is to restore regular breathing during sleep. There are several options for sleep apnea treatment near you, including:

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): A common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP. It entails sleeping with a mask over the nose or mouth to provide a steady stream of air that helps keep the airway open.
  • Mandibular advancement devices (MADs): MADs are custom-made mouthpieces that help keep the airway open by pushing the lower jaw forward.
  • Avoiding alcohol, losing weight, and sleeping on your side can all help with sleep apnea symptoms.
  • Surgery: In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may be required to remove excess tissue from the throat or to repair structural abnormalities that obstruct breathing.
  • Positive airway pressure devices (PAP): Similar to CPAP, PAP devices deliver air at a lower pressure.
  • Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV): An ASV PAP device automatically adjusts the pressure in response to the patient’s breathing patterns.
  • Oxygen therapy entails breathing in supplemental oxygen while sleeping to improve breathing and reduce the severity of sleep apnea.
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