Sleep apnea is a very serious condition that affects millions of Americans. This condition is often misdiagnosed or overlooked by doctors. It is such a major condition that it can cause many health concerns if not properly treated.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that disrupts sleep by causing pauses in breathing. The pauses in breathing can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes and usually occur 5 to 30 times per hour.
Sleep apnea moves the person from a deep, sound sleep to a light, disrupted sleep and is an ongoing condition. The pauses in breathing cause the light sleep to occur because it disrupts normal sleeping patterns. The continued light sleep causes excessive daytime sleepiness because the person cannot move into the much-needed deep sleep.
Sleep apnea symptoms include:
Types of Sleep Apnea
The three types of sleep apnea are central, obstructive, and mixed.
With central sleep apnea, the brain has episodes where it “forgets” to tell the breathing muscles to function. The person with sleep apnea ends up sleeping through a major episode of stopped breathing that may result in death. Central sleep apnea is the most dangerous type and is extremely rare.
The second type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by blockage of the airways. The soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep and causes the blockage. The soft is made up of the tongue, the soft palate, and the uvula.
Mixed sleep apnea is the third type and is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea. An episode of mixed sleep apnea starts with a component of central sleep apnea that then becomes obstructive. The central sleep apnea component usually lessens in intensity once the obstructive sleep apnea component is treated.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, please contact San Diego Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Coleman for a confidential sleep apnea consultation. He will be able to answer all of your questions and help you decide what sleep apnea treatments are best for your condition.