Obstructive And Central Sleep Apnea: What It Is And What You Can Do About It
- Posted on: Jul 15 2017
Studies calculate that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea and that 80% of those cases are left undiagnosed. Obstructive and central sleep apnea are sleep disorders. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available to address these potentially serious sleep problems.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea. It is characterized by breathing that will suddenly start and stop during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles occasionally slacken to the point that they block the airway while sleeping. Symptoms include a morning headache, loud snoring, relentless fatigue during the day, high blood pressure, decreased libido, depression or mood changes, and difficulty concentrating. There are mild, moderate, and severe forms of obstructive sleep apnea, typified by how many episodes of sleep interruptions are experienced.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be due to age, weight and even natural causes. Some individuals can be genetically disposed to having a more narrow breathing passage. Enlarged tonsils, frequent alcohol use, and smoking are also risk factors.
Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea includes a special device used to keep your airway open while sleeping. A different option is a mouthpiece that pushes the jaw forward when sleeping. In severe situations, surgery may be required.
Central Sleep Apnea
While obstructive sleep apnea is a mechanical issue, central sleep apnea is a communication problem. Central sleep apnea occurs when there is a failure of communication between the brain and the muscles in charge of breathing. Central sleep apnea can happen due do cardiovascular issues like heart disease or stroke. Sleeping at high altitudes, obesity, narcotic painkillers, and medical conditions that influence the brain stem are also risk factors associated with central sleep apnea.
Morning headaches, restless sleep, mood changes, snoring, and consistent fatigue typify central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea may be treated by addressing current conditions, using a device to help with breathing, or having supplemental oxygen.
If you exhibit any of the symptoms of obstructive or central sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Covell today. Dr. Covell’s practice has served the Pasadena area for over 40 years, and we look forward to assisting you with your dental goals. Call our office today at 713.943.9832.
Posted in: Sleep Apnea