Sleep apnea is a serious and common sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and restarts during sleep. Obstructive and central sleep apnea are the two most common types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea or OSA happens when there’s a partial or complete airway obstruction, causing breathing to stop.
Central sleep apnea happens when the brain fails to signal your breathing muscles correctly. Breathing stops briefly and then restarts. Keep reading to learn more about sleep apnea, its causes and symptoms, and the benefits of seeking treatment.
Usually, the signs and symptoms of OSA and CSA tend to overlap. They include:
Some of these symptoms don’t always mean you have sleep apnea. However, it’s best to see our dentist in Knoxville, TN, to determine their cause and get the needed treatments.
OSA happens due to the obstruction of the airway. The muscles in the back of the throat relax too much, entirely or partially, closing the airway. These muscles support other structures like the soft palate, uvula, and the side walls of the throat, tongue, and tonsils.
When the airway closes or narrows, you cannot get enough air, and the oxygen in your blood reduces. The brain quickly senses the problem and rouses you from sleep to re-open the airway and restart breathing. All this happens within seconds, so you may not remember it. The episodes can repeatedly occur 5 – 30 times or more in one hour at night.
Factors that can increase your risk of OSA include:
In most cases, it isn’t easy to establish the root cause of CSA. Commonly, central sleep apnea links with:
In children, central sleep apnea can be caused by:
Regardless of age, untreated sleep apnea can worsen or lead to serious health complications like high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, abnormal heartbeats, diabetes, dementia and memory loss, and premature death.
Repeated episodes of breathing interruptions cause you to wake up briefly several times throughout the night, significantly disrupting your sleep. You end up waking up feeling sleepy, irritated, and tired. Treating sleep apnea offers a quality, restful, and peaceful sleep.
Most people with sleep apnea tend to snore rather loudly at night. Loud snoring can affect your bed partner’s ability to get restful and quality sleep. Once treated, you will sleep quietly, allowing your bed to have a relaxing and quality sleep that’s not interrupted by snoring.
Lack of quality and restful sleep can cause you to wake up feeling sleepy, fatigued, moody, and achy. Some people are unable to stay awake or concentrate during the day. Treating sleep apnea allows you to breathe normally and sleep without interruption. You wake up feeling refreshed and energized. You may even notice increased productivity at work.
Lack of enough sleep can cause you to feel stressed, depressed, moody, and irritated. A study conducted on patients with sleep apnea showed that 73% of the participants have depression. The study showed that patients who underwent treatment with CPAP for three months felt better, with only 4% having depressive symptoms.
Sleep apnea can reduce oxygen in the blood and lead to poor sleep patterns, negatively impacting your immune system and making you vulnerable to inflammation and infections like colds. Treating sleep apnea improves sleep and oxygen flow in the blood, improving your immune system.
Sleep apnea can make you wake up tired, sleepy, and unable to concentrate well. It can lead to an increased risk of accidents at work and when driving. Sleep apnea treatment helps you wake up refreshed and energized, reducing the risk of accidents.
For more information about sleep apnea in Knoxville, TN, contact TLC Dental Care – Knoxville.