5 Signs of Sleep Apnea
Amongst the vast array of sleep disorders, sleep apnea is by far one of the most common – affecting upwards of 20 million adults in the US alone. If that figure didn’t seem staggering enough on its own, an estimated 80% of all cases are said to be undiagnosed – leaving the majority unaware and without treatment for the disorder, as well as its underlying conditions. Sleep apnea in general is an extremely dangerous condition, and when left untreated it is known to cause progressively worse issues over time, in some instances even being life-threatening. As the top sleep apnea specialist Queens has in practice, Dr. Marina Pinkhasova of Affordable Dental Care, recommends patients seek treatment as soon as possible. And depending upon what type of sleep apnea you are suffering from and what the associated symptoms might be, the most effective treatment method can vary quite a lot. The most common form of sleep apnea is known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – a condition in which the patient’s breathing is interrupted by an actual, physical blockage within the upper airways. This condition is most often caused by soft tissue within the throat collapsing into the airways. As the most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea accounts for approximately 85% of all cases. In the event you are suffering from nocturnal breathing issues, and exhibiting certain key signs of OSA, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Throughout her years as a sleep apnea specialist Queens dentist Marina Pinkhasova has encountered countless cases of OSA – and while each case is unique, and highly dependent upon the individual person, there are a number of signs and symptoms that are constant through every case.
When it comes to obstructive sleep apnea Queens dentist Dr. Marina Pinkhasovawarns her patients to take snoring issues very seriously. Often the first, and most common symptom associated with OSA, snoring is that all too common, disruptive vibration sound emitted from our upper respiratory system as we sleep. Snoring occurs as a result of a partial blockage to the airways. For the most part, an individual is rarely aware of their own snoring – rather it is diagnosed by a partner, spouse, or someone who has heard them sleeping. While snoring is a key sign of sleep apnea, it is important to realize it doesn’t always mean someone is suffering from the issue. In fact, many OSA sufferers don’t snore at all, and many who do snore, may not suffer from OSA either. However, in many cases, excessively loud, disruptive snoring that occurs on a nightly basis is very likely to be a precursor to obstructive sleep apnea.
· Constant Pauses in Breathing
Another sign of OSA is frequent pauses in breathing during the night. This occurs due to fatty tissue within the throat becoming relaxed during your sleep. Once this tissue relaxes, is falls into the airways, restricting the airflow and causing patients to stop breathing for a few seconds at a time. As the top sleep apnea specialist Queens has to offer, Dr. Pinkhasova warns that these pauses in breathing, can causes neurological issues over time, as the brain and blood experience a huge drop in oxygen levels. This lack of oxygen causes the brain to wake itself from even the deepest of sleep, thus forcing the airways back open. Despite this constant waking, part of your brain and body are still asleep. As a result of this constant waking and obstructive sleep apnea Queens patients will complain about terrible, unrestful sleep.
· Constantly Tired
Although it might seem like you got 8-10 hours of sleep, your body and mind may not feel like it – and you may feel tired constantly throughout the day. As a result of those constant interruptions in breathing, and constantly waking up, you are losing out in both quality and quantity of sleep. As a precursor to obstructive sleep apnea Queens dentist Marina Pinkhasova will diagnose patients with EDS or excessive daytime sleepiness. This is characterized by chronic, overwhelming feelings of exhaustion and fatigue – in many cases patients cannot keep their eyes open while doing normal everyday tasks. This is especially dangerous while driving or using certain heavy machinery.
· Overweight or Obese
In many cases body weight is directly linked to obstructive sleep apnea, as many OSA patients tend to be overweight or obese. According to Dr. Pinkhasova, the top sleep apnea specialist Queens has to offer, because most obstructions are caused by excess fatty tissue, those with more fat content, are far more likely to have more obstructions to their breathing. In addition, those with a neck circumference of over 16 or 17 inches, depending on gender or age, will have a far greater likelihood of suffering from OSA.
· High Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is frequently linked to sleep apnea, as the less oxygen making it to your brain, means that the blood vessels in the brain become widened. As your brain wakes from sleep as it realizes that it’s not receiving adequate oxygen levels in the blood it causes a spike in blood pressure as it restricts your blood vessels to kick starts your system into working again. When this happens repeatedly throughout the night to combat every apnea event, your body gets used to having to restrict its blood vessels and high blood pressure begins to persist even during the day when you are breathing normally.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition and if left untreated can often be life-threatening. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms it is important to contact Dr. Pinkhasova immediately.