Sleep apnea is a condition that affects up to 25% of men and 10% of women. When you suffer from sleep apnea, you experience multiple extended pauses in your breath while you sleep. This temporary breathing lapse affects the body’s oxygen supply, leading to potentially serious health issues and low-quality sleep.
How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?
Many patients who suffer from sleep apnea share common symptoms. Most commonly is disrupted breathing, your partner might report that your breathing becomes labored or even stops for up to a minute. You might be experiencing excessive sleepiness during the day, it’s common to have headaches, especially in the mornings, and you might notice you’re irritable. In addition, many patients experience difficulty thinking clearly or focusing for long periods or describe a feeling of brain fog.
These are all symptoms that can arise after a night of poor sleep but are especially prevalent when the body has experienced decreased oxygen levels that occur due to interrupted breathing. Other common symptoms include snoring, especially if that snoring involves gasping, choking, or snorting. Those suffering from sleep apnea may also wake up with a sore throat and dry mouth, or experience a frequent need to urinate.
It is important to note that although snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea, it does not mean that everyone who snores has sleep apnea. The best way to find out if you suffer from sleep apnea is to work with a sleep specialist.
It’s extremely common for a person with sleep apnea to be unaware of breathing problems at night. It’s often a partner, family member, or roommate that brings the patient awareness of their sleep issues. However, because of the prevalence and potential health impact, people need to be aware of sleep apnea and seek treatment when needed.
What Treatments Are Available For Sleep Apnea?
Once you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you can do a variety of things to promote healthy sleep habits. Continuous positive airway pressure (or CPAP) machines are one of the most commonly prescribed and effective treatments for patients who suffer from sleep apnea. These machines provide just enough positive pressure inside your throat to keep your airway open. The results are a vast improvement in the quality of sleep you experience, improved daytime alertness, mood, and focus throughout the day.
How Can A Specialist Help Me With My Sleep Apnea?
At The Sleep Center at Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine, P.C, we care about your overall health. Our professionals can diagnose a wide variety of sleep disorders, arrange a sleep study, and offer comprehensive treatment for sleep disorders. We are proud to provide you with effective treatments and quality care from our Registered Respiratory and Sleep Therapists. In addition, our team can provide you with personalized CPAP mask fitting and all the education you need to be fully informed about your condition and how to get the sleep your body needs to feel your best.