What is Sleep Apnea?

what is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing stops or becomes very shallow for short periods of time while sleeping. These pauses can occur hundreds of time during a single night, causing you to jolt awake. These episodes are extremely disruptive to your important deep sleep rhythm. Sleep apnea symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and complications from sleep apnea can have serious negative effects to your body. The two main types of sleep apnea are:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This is the most common type of sleep apnea, where the muscles in the back of your throat relax and obstructs the normal flow of air.

Central Sleep Apnea

This type of sleep apnea is less common but more serious. Central sleep apnea occurs when the muscles that control your breathing don't get the proper signals from your brain telling you to breath.

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What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Loud and Disruptive Snoring
  • Waking Up Abruptly with a Shortness of Breath
  • Intervals of Shallow or Suspended Breathing
  • Headaches in the Morning
  • Insomnia
  • Chronically Fatigued and Sleepiness During the Day
  • Irritability
  • Waking Up with a Sore Throat and a Dry Mouth

If you have any of these symptoms you may have sleep apnea and should schedule an appointment with Dr. Hedgecock right away. Sleep apnea can lead to other potentially serious health issues such as high blood pressure or heart problems, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver problems, and can even create complications with medications and surgery.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

While every person is different and requires specialized care specifically for them, the two main treatments for sleep apnea are CPAP Therapy and Oral Appliance Therapy. These solutions are excellent options for treating sleep apnea and Dr. Hedgecock offers both. If you have or think you may have sleep apnea, don't delay and schedule an appointment with Dr. Hedgecock. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel after a good night of sleep!

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