Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that causes a reduction or interruption of breathing during sleep. An apnea occurs when someone stops breathing for 10 seconds or more or takes less than 25% of a normal breath for a period that lasts 10 seconds or more. Another way that sleep apnea is defined is a reduction of oxygen to the blood by at least 4% when breathing stops.
Sleep apnea is most common among overweight adult men, but is also found in women and children. A diagnosis of sleep apnea is often suspected based on a person’s medical history, but a diagnostic test must be administered to confirm the diagnosis.
If you are reading, you either suspect that you suffer from sleep apnea or you’ve been recently diagnosed. Or, perhaps someone you love is suffering. Rest assured, you’ve come to the right place. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for obstructive sleep apnea patients.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
It can be difficult to determine if you have sleep apnea since it happens while you are asleep. However, there are some symptoms that you (or perhaps your bed partner) can identify. Did you know that 1 in 5 people suffer with sleep apnea?
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to severe health issues.
Signs and symptom include:
- Loud snoring
- Pauses in breathing
- Choking or gasping during sleep
- Unexplained daytime sleepiness
- Headaches upon waking
- Morning sore throat
- Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness
- Depression or irritability
Sleep apnea and its effect on health
Sleep apnea causes your breathing to stop or pause, which causes you to break your natural sleep rhythm. The result is that you do not get the restorative sleep that you need to be mentally sharp and energetic the following day. This makes you less likely to be productive at best, and at worst, at risk for accidents.
Over time, sleep apnea can also result in serious health problems. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and obesity have all been linked to obstructive sleep apnea. But with the proper diagnosis and treatment, you can control the systems and start getting the good night’s sleep you deserve.
Certain risk factors increase the chances that you have sleep apnea. These factors include excess weight, neck circumference, being male, being older, use of alcohol or sedatives, pregnant women and many more. Don’t wait until it’s too late, speak with Dr. Enloe about your concerns today.