Sleep Apnea Symptoms
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when tissue blocking the airway during sleep causes a patient to stop breathing several times each night. When the patient stops breathing, the amount of oxygen in the blood begins to drop. Once the oxygen level reaches a certain point, the brain triggers the body to briefly awaken, and the patient resumes breathing again.
Over the course of an evening, a sleep apnea patient will repeat this cycle numerous times. This seriously depletes the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. Over time, the oxygen deprivation from sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems.
How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?
Over 25 Million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but most of them don’t even realize they have this potentially devastating disease. Even though sleep apnea patients are aroused from their deepest sleep several times per night, they usually don’t recall it the next morning.
It’s often the patient’s spouse or sleep partner who first notices their loud snoring or the gasping noise sleep apnea patients frequently make when they’re aroused during sleep.
Morning headaches, dry mouth, and sore throat are additional symptoms of sleep apnea. Further signs that you could be suffering from sleep apnea include heavy snoring, daytime fatigue and sleepiness, irritability, restless sleep, and diminished performance at work or school.
The Risks of Not Treating Your Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is not something you should ignore. It’s a significant medical issue that can result in serious medical consequences if left untreated. People with untreated sleep apnea are at a greater risk for suffering from strokes and heart attacks.
Recent studies link the physical strain from the oxygen deprivation caused by sleep apnea to a number of health issues, including:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Depression and Anxiety
- High Blood Pressure
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Reduced Libido
Frequently Asked Questions
I think I may suffer from sleep apnea -- what do I do?
If you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea, give us a call at 505-427-2936 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Schumacher. He’ll take the time to understand your symptoms, assess your health, and determine if a sleep study is necessary for you. Once you receive a proper diagnosis, Dr. Schumacher will discuss your treatment options and help determine the best solution for your condition.
How can I reduce my risk of sleep apnea?
When coupled with professional treatment, making certain lifestyle changes may be beneficial in reducing sleep apnea symptoms. Some effective natural remedies include:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Regular exercise ⎼ yoga specifically promotes oxygen flow
- Change your sleep position, also referred to as positional therapy
- Use a humidifier to open your airways
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
Sleep Apnea and Your Wellbeing
Sleep apnea can damage your personal life, your professional life, and your intimate relationships. If you think you or a loved one might be suffering from sleep apnea, call 505-427-2936 to arrange your free consultation with Dr. Schumacher.