Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder affecting nearly 20 million adults in the United States. Sadly, nearly 80% of these cases are never diagnosed and as a result, left untreated. Sometimes a sleep disorder like sleep apnea can be the cause of other health problems. Central sleep apnea is when the brain is unable to send the correct signal telling the respiratory system to breath. Obstructive sleep apnea is when there is a physical impediment to breathing while sleeping. For instance, there could be soft tissue or the tongue collapsing in the airway, thus stopping air from moving through. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common.
Review the following signs of sleep apnea to see if you may suffer from this sleep disorder:
- Snoring: glaringly loud and chronic snoring is a common characteristic of those who have sleep apnea. This loud snoring is typically due to a blockage in the airway. Your snoring could simply be an annoying quirk, but it is often an indicator of sleep apnea.
- Constant breathing pauses: For those with obstructive sleep apnea, the fatty tissues in the airway become relaxed and can restrict air movement. This can cause you to stop breathing for a few seconds before your brain realizes that your oxygen levels have dropped, resulting in you “jumping” out of your sleep. This can have an increasingly negative impact on the quality of sleep you are able to achieve at night.
- A consistent feeling of fatigue: For those with sleep apnea, feeling tired is common. Sometimes, a patient can get 7-9 hours of sleep during the night but still wake up exhausted because they are unknowingly jarred awake due to soft tissue blockages (as mentioned in point number 2). If you have a chronic feeling of overwhelming daytime fatigue, you could have sleep apnea.
- Waking up in the morning with headaches: headaches are a common symptom of those who suffer from sleep apnea. Because less oxygen enters the brain as you consistently (and often unknowingly) wake up, you can develop vascular headaches.
Arrange a consultation
If you think you suffer from sleep apnea, contact Bay Area Laser Cosmetic Surgery Center today to learn how we can help fix your problem. You can contact us at the Pinole (East Bay) Office at (510) 724-8282 or Larkspur (North Bay) office at (415) 461-5755.