You should never ignore anything that is causing your body any type of pain or discomfort. However, there are something that can harm us that are not that easy to detect and one of those conditions is sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects your breathing when you sleep. The soft tissue in the back of your throat falls down into your airway and either partially or fully obstructs your air flow. Your brain then tells your body you are not breathing and you are essentially jolted awake in order to catch your breath.
These episodes can occur from just a few times to hundreds of times a night. In some severe cases, patients have stopped breathing as long as 45 seconds during an episode. This puts a strain on your heart and can damage your cardiovascular system.
That is serious but the health implications can even go further than that as people who suffer with sleep apnea are at risk of stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. This is because your body is designed to heal and restore itself during sleep.
Signs and Clues You May Have Sleep Apnea
One of the most common signs that a person has sleep apnea is snoring. Snoring occurs when the air tries to pass the soft tissue that has fallen back in your throat. It creates a fluttering sound that we call snoring.
It will continuously go on and on throughout the night. The result of this condition is that you will not get the right amount of sleep that you need to feel refreshed when you wake up the next day. There are five stages of sleep and the last one or the REM or Rapid Eye Movement is known as the peak or the point where you will fall into the deepest part of your slumber. Just imagine many nights and days without actually reaching this point.
The most risky part of this condition is the fact that you are not getting the right amount of oxygen at night. If this is not be resolved, it may lead to high blood pressure and serious heart conditions. If you already have these health ailments, you are only making it all worse when you are suffering from this sleeping disorder.
Are You Diagnosed
The only way to really know if you have sleep apnea is to get a sleep study done. The sleep study will reveal first of all if you have sleep apnea and then it will reveal the severity of the sleep apnea.
The sad thing is that more than 80% of people with sleep apnea are undiagnosed. That’s why it’s important that if you snore or you are experiencing day-time sleepiness and mood changes, that you get checked out right away.
If you haven’t had a sleep study, then call our office and we will help you get the process started right away. If you have had sleep study but cannot wear the CPAP, we have an alternative for you that will help you get treatment and rest.