Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
The most important component in receiving the correct treatment for any sleep disorder starts with understanding your diagnosis and how it can impact your overall health. Educating our patients about sleep apnea and what it entails can help provide an early diagnosis and effective treatment.
Unfortunately, what prevents many patients from getting the specific treatment that they need is their lack of awareness that they even have a problem. Dr. Reece understands this firsthand. Dr. Michael K. Reece suffers from obstructive sleep disorder (OSA) and understands your condition personally. His ability to relate to the condition through personal experience gives him the advantage needed to provide exceptional treatment.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects a person’s ability to breathe while sleeping and can even cause one to cease breathing altogether for short intervals. This is due to the collapse of soft tissues that block free airflow.
When the soft tissue collapses into the airway, it completely or partially blocks the airway, obstructing airflow and depriving the brain of oxygen. This causes the individual to snore or make choking sounds in an attempt to breathe. In response, the brain forces the individual awake in order to restore airflow.
Individuals with sleep apnea may wake up several times a night and as a result, experience fatigue, and develop various health problems.
Depending on the severity of the condition, an individual with sleep apnea may wake up between 5 to 50 times an hour.
This is detrimental to anyone attempting to be in a strong mental state.
The Types Of Sleep Apnea
Ranging from mild to severe, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that does not discriminate and affects people of all ages. Unbeknownst to many individuals, there are three types of sleep apnea; obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the mildest form of sleep apnea and occurs as a result of blockage to the airway. When throat muscles or the tongue relax and fall into the airway, they can obstruct the airway and limit the airflow to the lungs. Also knowns as OSA, this type of sleep apnea is more common than diabetes or asthma but can be easily treated.
In contrast, central sleep apnea is more severe and differs in nature. While OSA is caused by relaxed soft tissues that block your airflow, central sleep apnea is triggered when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that help you breathe. Because the brain fails to send signals telling you to breathe, individuals with central sleep apnea don’t try to breathe at all.
Therefore, central sleep apnea is considered a serious sleep disorder that affects the lower brainstem and may be associated with other serious illnesses such as kidney failure, congestive heart failure, hypothyroid disease, and neurological disease.
Complex sleep apnea, also known as treatment emergent central sleep apnea, is the third type of sleep apnea and is a combination of both OSA and central sleep apnea.