Obstructive sleep apnea is a lot more common than people realize. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person’s breathing to become extremely shallow. In some cases, their breathing might even stop while they are asleep. Individuals who are suffering from sleep apnea may experience this shallow breathing or complete stoppage of breathing multiple times during the night while they sleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea, as the name implies, happens when something is obstructing your upper airway as you sleep. As a result, your diaphragm and chest muscles must struggle in order to open the obstruction and allow air to get into your lungs. When a person has obstructive sleep apnea, their breathing is very violent. Once the blockage is removed, they start to breathe again, but they do so with a gasp or a snort. If you see someone with obstructive sleep apnea sleep, you will see them start breathing again as their body starts to jerk. Understandably, a person with obstructive sleep apnea does not get a good night’s sleep. However, since they do not know that their breathing is being obstructed, they have no idea why they wake up tired.
In addition to the dangers that come with shallow breathing or not breathing at all when you sleep, the regular flow of oxygen to your heart can lead to irregular heart rhythms. This can be very dangerous and, at times, life-threatening.
People who have sleep apnea often wake up with a sore throat in the morning, or they might have a hard time concentrating or focusing. They may complain of symptoms of depression and irritability. Their sleep is restless and is often accompanied by snoring. It may be hard for these individuals to wake up in the morning. If their breathing obstruction wakes them up, it is sudden and often comes with a feeling of choking.
When it comes to sleep apnea, the person you sleep next to will likely know about it way before you do. You’re going to sleep straight through it, but they are going to hear the sounds of you fighting.
When a child has obstructive sleep apnea, it is not always as obvious as when an adult has it. Children may experience choking, drooling, bed wetting, and a lot of sweating at night. They might have problems at school, they may grind their teeth, and they may exhibit learning disorders. When a person realizes that they have sleep apnea or see symptoms of it in their children, it is important for them to get medical care as quickly as possible.
Individuals who are obese or even overweight have a higher chance of getting obstructive sleep apnea. This is also true of those who have a small nose, throat, or mouth. Individuals who are battling with enlarged tonsils or a deviated septum are at higher risk of experiencing obstructive sleep apnea.
If you are dealing with obstructive sleep apnea, the office of Dr. Michael Sohl can help. Our board-certified dentist handles each patient’s case of sleep apnea with personalization and care to ensure you get the results you need. To get started on your journey towards better sleep, contact our office in Stuart and schedule your consultation with us today.