Sleep Apnea Treatment Specialist Questions and Answers
Sleep apnea can become dangerous if not treated and can cause chaos on your body as well as your sleep. If you think you may have sleep apnea, contact Suburban Healthcare Associates today to learn more about our sleep apnea treatments. Call us for more information or schedule an appointment online! We have convenient locations to serve you in Naperville IL, Plainfield IL, and Joliet IL.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when you’re breathing repeatedly stops and starts; sleep apnea can easily become a serious sleep disorder if not treated. Many individuals who tend to snore loudly and who often feel exhausted after a full night’s sleep may be dealing with sleep apnea, and not even know they are.
Some of the causes for sleep apnea to occur are due to the muscle in the back of your throat which starts to relax as you fall deeper into sleep. These muscles in the back of your throat support the soft palate, which is the triangular shape of the tissue, they also support the tonsils, sidewalls within the throat, and the tongue. With your muscles relaxing, the airways begin to narrow or close as you breathe in. If your body is unable to get enough air while you sleep, the lower the oxygen levels become in your blood. Your brain will begin to sense your body is unable to breathe, and will briefly awaken you so you then open up your airways. You may do this by snorting, choking, or gasping for air. This can become a pattern and can happen anywhere from 5 to 30 times or more every hour, which in turn begins to affect your sleep.
What Are the Types of Sleep Apnea?
There are three types of sleep apnea that someone can be diagnosed with:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
The most common type of sleep apnea that an individual may be diagnosed with. This type occurs when the throat muscles begin to relax.
- Central sleep apnea
This type occurs when the brain doesn’t send the signals it needs to the muscles that help control breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome
Central sleep apnea is less common of the three for an individual to be diagnosed with, as it happens when your body makes no effort at all to breathe for a short period of time. If you are dealing with this, you will normally awaken with shortness of breath or you will have much more difficulty staying asleep, let alone falling asleep.
What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?
Diagnosing sleep apnea types can often be quite difficult; the most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea may include:
- Loud snoring
- Times during your sleep cycle that you may stop breathing
- Gasping for air during your sleep
- Awakening with extremely dry mouth
- Headaches in the morning
- Difficulty with staying asleep
- Extreme exhaustion during the day
- Difficulty paying attention when you are awake
It is highly recommended you visit your doctor if you are continuing to snore loudly, as this is a major indication of a potentially serious issue; however, not everyone who has sleep apnea snores loudly or at all. If you are showcasing other warning signs as noted above for sleep apnea, it is best to still go in and talk to your medical physician at Suburban Healthcare Associates, they will be able to evaluate your symptoms, possibly run some exams and examine your body to determine if you qualify for sleep apnea treatment.
What happens if sleep apnea is left untreated?
If sleep apnea goes untreated, it can cause a number of issues including:
- Heart failure
- Heart attacks
Sleep apnea is well-known to cause arrhythmias as well as heart failure. Usually, if you have sleep apnea issues you tend to also have higher blood pressure. This is due to sleep apnea causing:
- Repeated occurrences of your oxygen levels lowering (also called hypoxia)
- Changes in your carbon dioxide levels
- Direct effects on the heart due to the pressure changes within your chest
- Increased levels of inflammation
Due to all of this, it is highly recommended you speak to your medical physician, so they can not only examine you but offer a diagnosis and treatment options to manage sleep apnea. Call us today or simply book an appointment online. We have three locations to choose from in Naperville IL, Plainfield IL, and Joliet, IL, and provide service to these locations and all surrounding areas. We serve patients from Naperville IL, Plainfield IL, Joliet IL, Romeoville IL, Shorewood IL, Crest Hill IL, and Aurora IL.