Does your loud snoring disturb your sleeping partner’s sleep? Do you experience frequent daytime fatigue? Loud snoring and daytime fatigue can be a sign that you are suffering from sleep apnea without you knowing.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder and can be potentially life-threatening when left untreated. People suffering from sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep. When this happens, it only means that their brain or the rest of their body does not get enough oxygen.
Sleep apnea has two types:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
It is the most common type of apnea that most people experience. Their airway is blocked when the soft tissue in the back of their throat collapses during their sleep. It causes the person to snore loudly.
- Central sleep apnea
Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. People with central sleep apnea seldom snore.
What are the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea?
The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are difficult to identify by yourself since the symptoms usually occur during sleep. However, you may be able to find out if you have possible sleep apnea by asking your bed partner, or by recording yourself during sleep. The major warnings of sleep apnea that everyone must watch out includes:
- Loud and chronic snoring when asleep
- Frequent pauses in breathing
- Choking, snorting, or gasping during sleep
- Daytime drowsiness and fatigue
- Waking up at night feeling short of breath
Other warnings may include:
- Insomnia or nighttime awakenings
- Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
- Waking up with the dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Moodiness, irritability, or depression
Sleep apnea can be scary, but it can be treated. They can reduce their symptoms by changing their lifestyle. However, these should not replace medical evaluation and treatment.
The lifestyle changes may include:
- Losing weight. People who are overweight have an increased risk of suffering from sleep apnea. People who are overweight have extra tissue in the back of their throat which can collapse over their airways and block the flow of air into their lungs while they sleep.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases inflammation and fluid retention in the throat and upper airway. Quitting smoking can help reduce their sleep apnea symptoms.
- Avoid too much consumption of caffeine or heavy meals two hours before sleeping.
- Maintain regular sleep hours. Enough sleep will help the person relax and sleep better. Sleep apnea episodes may lessen when they get enough sleep.
- Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can have a favorable result on the duration and quality of their sleep. Doing aerobic and resistance training helps reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea. Yoga is also suitable for strengthening the muscles in the airways and improves breathing.
- Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives. These must be avoided, especially before going to bed because they relax the throat muscles and may interfere with breathing.
If you’re suffering from a sleep disorder that causes breathing pauses, then it may be Sleep Apnea! Book your appointment immediately at SLS Orthodontics for Sleep Apnea Treatment in Coral Springs, FL. You can visit us at 8223 W. Atlantic Boulevard Coral Springs, FL 33071.