The American Sleep Apnea Association states that more than 20 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Moreover, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that about 30% of Americans aged 30 to 70 suffer from Valhalla sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder characterized by interruption of inhalation and exhalation starting as you sleep. Unlike snoring, which results from problems with your nose or throat, sleep apnea may occur due to other issues like being obese and excessive alcohol consumption.
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome. For example, obstructive sleep apnea is the most prevalent sleep disorder and results from the complete or partial blocking of your airways during sleep. That happens because of the collapsing of the soft tissues at the back of your throat.
During the stopping and starting of breathing, the muscles of your chest and diaphragm must work extra hard to keep your airways open. As a result, you will experience a body jerk and labored breathing, which can affect your sleep and reduce the transportation of oxygen to your organs.
Symptoms of sleep apnea
Some sleep apnea symptoms are easy to identify, while others may not be easily noticeable. Common sleep apnea symptoms may include extreme exhaustion, snoring, rapid mood swings, excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, pause of breathing, lack of sexual desire, headaches, and sweating at night.
You will feel tired in the morning and during the day because you lack sufficient sleep. There is also a high possibility of waking up in the middle of the night at least once, and you may not know that it is sleep apnea causing sleep disruption. You may think you woke up due to other reasons like heartburn and the need to urinate. Your partner may help notice your sleep apnea symptoms, like loud snoring.
Potential complications of sleep apnea
You should go for treatment immediately after realizing you have sleep apnea symptoms. Treating and managing your sleep apnea symptoms can enable you to avoid potentially severe complications. Possible complications due to sleep apnea are heart issues, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, liver problems, and difficulty breathing. Metabolic syndrome, also called syndrome x, is a group of conditions that appear together, increasing your risk of various illnesses like stroke and heart disease.
Blood pressure will increase due to the repeated starting and stopping of your breathing, reducing the amount of blood and oxygen in circulation.
Conservative treatments that may be great for you include maintaining a healthy weight, changing your sleeping positions regularly, using over-the-counter nasal sprays, and medically addressing an issue causing your condition. For example, nasal sprays relax the muscles of your airways, making it easier for the traveling of air through the nose.
If you are obese, excess fat accumulation in your neck constricts your upper respiratory tract, which causes sleep apnea. Losing excess weight from your body reduces the pressure exerted around your airways.
Contact Advanced Surgeons today to schedule a consultation with a sleep apnea specialist.