Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important, beneficial things you can do for yourself in order to live a healthy, full life. Sleep resets our bodies, giving it the time it needs to recuperate after an entire day’s worth of wear and tear. But do not just take my word for it. Think about how great you feel when you get a solid eight hours of uninterrupted shut eye, versus how awful it is when you wake up after just getting three or four hours. The difference is quite literally night and day. But what if you had a condition that made it so you could not get a good night’s sleep?
Well, for those who have sleep apnea, a good night’s sleep is just a dream. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes your breathing to repeatedly stop and start while you are sleeping. While usually just an annoying problem that causes fatigue, it can become dangerous and life-threatening in certain situations, leading to heart and repertory problems and sometimes even death.
However, not all types of sleep apnea are the same. In fact, there are three main kinds of sleep apnea with different causes and symptoms. The following are the different types of sleep apnea you could be dealing with:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common of the three different types. This particular form of sleep apnea strikes when the throat muscles relax while sleeping, making it difficult to breathe regularly. If you are a loud snorer, this is likely the type of sleep apnea you are dealing with.
Central Sleep Apnea
Central sleep apnea is not as common as obstructive sleep apnea, but it has more potential to be fatal. Central sleep apnea happens when your brain messes up the signals it sends out to the muscles that control your breathing, which causes them to stop working. If you regularly wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, you might be battling central sleep apnea.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome
Also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, this disorder happens when someone has both of the other types of sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea is particularly dangerous, due to its combination of causes and symptoms.
Sleep Apnea Treatment FAQ
What are signs I might have sleep apnea?
It might be hard for you to determine whether you have a problem with sleep apnea, considering that you are asleep when the issues are happening. However, there are still a number of clear symptoms that are telltale signs of sleep apnea. These symptoms include loud snoring, periods where you stop breathing during sleep, waking up in the middle of night with shortness of breath, waking up with a dry mouth and sore throat, headaches in the morning, insomnia at night, excessive drowsiness during the day, trouble paying attention, and general irritability.
When should I seek help for my sleep apnea?
While it might not seem like the most pressing concern at the moment, ignoring the problems of sleep apnea can sometimes end up having life-threatening consequences. That is why if you think you might be dealing with sleep apnea you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some serious signs that could signal it is time to get medical attention include snoring loud enough to bother yourself or others sleeping, gasping for air to that point that it wakes you up in the middle of the night, random pauses in your breathing while asleep, or extreme fatigue during the day, to the point where you cannot stay awake.
If you are in the Grand Prairie, Alberta area and think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact Northern Dental Centre at 780-532-1786 to schedule an appointment so you can get back to getting that important good night’s sleep.
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Have questions or ready to schedule an appointment? We are here to help!