The majority of people who suffer from sleep apnea haven’t even heard of the condition, and perhaps as much as 90% of the 12 million or more Americans who have it are undiagnosed. If you suffer from daytime sleepiness, can never seem to get enough sleep, have depression or another mood disorder, or have been diagnosed with cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure or coronary artery disease, you may have sleep apnea.
If you want to learn more about sleep apnea in discussion with a sleep dentist, please call 720-317-2700 or email Dr. Paul A Hamersky today.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops during the night, forcing your brain to awake slightly to resume breathing. The most common form of the condition is obstructive sleep apnea, when your breathing stops because your airway collapses. This occurs because at night when you are lying down, gravity pulls your airway closed, and the muscles that normally hold your airway open relax. The only good support for your airway is your jaw, and if it is in the wrong position, it cannot perform its function.
This is the type of sleep apnea that is associated with snoring and is more common in people who are obese, older, and predominantly male.
A small number of sleep apnea victims suffer from central sleep apnea, in which breathing stops because the brain stops ordering the body to breathe. People can suffer from both types.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Part of the reason why so many sleep apnea sufferers go undiagnosed is that the symptoms may seem to be associated with many different conditions, or may be dismissed by people altogether. Symptoms may include:
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth and throat irritation
- Daytime sleepiness
- Chronic fatigue
- Loss of motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
In addition, people with sleep apnea may be diagnosed with other illnesses, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease
- Mood disorders
- Heart attack
Although these other conditions may be associated with many potential causes, sleep apnea links many of them, and people with all of these diagnoses are more likely to have sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or suspect that you have sleep apnea, it is important that you get sleep apnea treatment to avoid the potential dangers of sleep apnea, which can increase your risk of early death by as much as five times, according to recent studies. There are many successful sleep apnea treatments, but not all of them work equally well for all people.
To learn which sleep apnea treatment is right for you, please contact Dr. Paul A. Hamersky for an appointment at one of his offices around Denver, including Lone Tree, Castle Rock, Aurora, and Stapleton. Please call 720-317-2700.