Sleep apnea is ignored by many people who don’t understand the potential threat it can cause to their lives. Not wanting to get a sleep study done is understandable; who wants to have an extensive amount of wires taped around their faces and have experts watch them sleep from another room? However, that one uncomfortable moment could cure you of your sleepless nights, chronic fatigue, and morning headaches.
What Exactly Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start again throughout the night. Snoring loudly and daytime fatigue after a good night’s sleep are two common signs of sleep apnea.
Types of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. This specific sleep apnea is caused by a partial or complete blockage of the airways during sleep. Due to the restriction of blood flow to the brain, neurons shoot signals to the brain that allow you to wake up from the sleep in order to regulate your breathing properly. A person who faces obstructive sleep apnea may have mild (5-14 episodes per hour), moderate (15-30 episodes per hour) or severe (30+ episodes per hour) sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea and occurs when the brain temporarily fails to signal the muscles that are responsible for controlled breathing. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, this sleep apnea is linked to a communication problem that involves the neurons not “firing” signals at a high speed to the brain. The leading causes of central sleep apnea include Parkinson’s disease, obesity, certain medications, and heart failure.
- Restless sleep or insomnia
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with shortness of breath
- Morning headaches
- Continuously waking up throughout the night
Causes and Risk Factors
- Weight: Obesity is one of the main reasons for those who snore. Obesity allows for the fatty tissues to build up around the neck and throat area, causing restriction of the airway.
- Natural Causes: Family history and genetics
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits: excessive alcohol use and smoking tobacco
- Age: The likelihood of developing sleep apnea tends to increase with age.
There are numerous treatments available to fix your sleep apnea and allow you to wake up refreshed every day.
- Balloon Sinuplasty
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and BIPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) machines
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and other surgical options
- Custom Oral Appliances
- Behavior Modification Therapy
Live Totum is here to help you get the best sleep of your life. Call us today at (212) 288-2222 or schedule your appointment online.