Recognizing Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most accurate way to diagnose sleep apnea is by getting a sleep study, also known as a polysomnography. A sleep test is a non-invasive overnight exam conducted by a sleep specialist.
You may have sleep apnea if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Loud and/or persistent snoring
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Frequent interruptions in your sleep
- Hypersomnia (excessive and persistent drowsiness or fatigue)
- Lack of energy, motivation, or concentration
- Frequent urination at night
If any of these symptoms apply to you, Dr. Boscia recommends that you undergo a sleep study. Dr. Boscia is happy to recommend sleep physicians in the area that can get you the answers you need. Not all sleep disorders are the same, so getting the most accurate diagnosis is essential for your treatment.
What Types of Sleep Apnea Are There?
There are two types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common, and is caused by the relaxation of the muscles at the back of your throat. There is also central sleep apnea (CSA), which is affected by your central nervous system.
OSA occurs when the surrounding tissues of your throat relax and block the airway as you breathe in, disrupting the flow of oxygen into your lungs. This causes your brain to wake you up constantly throughout the night, since it’s always seeking to protect you. Although brief, these interruptions to your sleep will add up and lead you to feel exhausted the following day.
CSA is less common, and is the result of a miscommunication between your central nervous system, brain, muscles and lungs.
Treating the two types of sleep apnea is very different, so finding out which one is affecting you is extremely important.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
Both forms of sleep apnea can be onset by common factors, such as age and gender. Older patients are more at risk for sleep apnea, and males comprise a larger group of people affected by sleep apnea.
Other risk factors for OSA include:
- Excess weight
- Circumference of the neck – thick necks may have narrower airways
- Family history
- Tobacco and alcohol use
- Nasal congestion
Almost 80 percent of people with sleep apnea don’t even realize they have it. It’s important to get a sleep test conducted if you share these risk factors and notice symptoms. Getting a proper diagnosis and treatment can not only save your life, but enhance its quality.
Sleep apnea can increase your risk of suffering from other health complications, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, and liver problems.
Sleep Apnea Affects Your Well Being
Not only does sleep apnea affect the amount of sleep you get, but the quality of your sleep as well. As a result, you can wake up with headaches and a serious lack of energy and struggle to find motivation for the day. This can affect your mental health just as much as your physical health.
In fact, depression is associated with sleep apnea. This can influence the way you see yourself, your passion, and your relationships with loved ones.
Finding treatment for sleep apnea can change your life by improving both your physical and emotional health. The difference has the potential to be night and day.
Start Your Journey Today
At New Creation Dental Care, we believe that each day should be enjoyed and lived with passion. That’s why Dr. Matt Boscia wants to hear any and all concerns you have about the quality of sleep you’re getting. If you need to be treated for sleep apnea in the St. Louis, MO area, look no further. Give us a call at (636) 625-1225 to schedule your consultation.