Tag Archives: Sleep Apnea

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop and start throughout the night. The different forms of sleep apnea include obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea (a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.) Sleep apnea disrupts your sleep and leaves you at risk for many other potential health issues. 

High Blood Pressure

Because sleep apnea causes you to wake up frequently throughout the night—it can stress your body and boost your blood pressure levels. A lack of sleep can make your hormones go into overdrive which can also affect blood pressure. Because sleep apnea also affects your breathing, it impacts the level of oxygen in your blood as well—causing blood pressure to rise. 

If someone struggles with high blood pressure and they obtain sleep apnea, their blood pressure issues are likely to worsen. 

Heart Disease

Those who are dealing with sleep apnea are at higher risk for heart disease. The low oxygen levels and stress of waking up through the night both contribute to heart disease and leave you at higher risk for a heart attack, stroke, and atrial fibrillation (a quickened and fluttering heartbeat.) When your body does not get enough oxygen, your brain struggles to control blood flow. 

Acid Reflux

Though it hasn’t been proven that sleep apnea causes acid reflux, there does seem to be a correlation. In some cases, treating acid reflux can also improve symptoms of sleep apnea and vice versa. 

Asthma

Sleep apnea blocks your airways and puts you at a higher risk of developing breathing disorders. It has been proven that treating symptoms of sleep apnea can lead to fewer asthma attacks. 

Those who struggle with asthma are also more likely to develop a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea. A study reported by WebMD found that about 15% of those with sleep apnea also struggle with asthma. 

Weight Gain

Weight gain and sleep apnea go hand in hand. Suffering from sleep apnea leads to weight gain and being overweight puts you at higher risk for sleep apnea—it’s a slippery slope. Sleep apnea and consistently waking up through the night makes it more difficult to lose weight. When dealing with sleep apnea, your body will release more hormones that cause you to crave carbs and sweets. It’s also more difficult for you to turn food into energy—also leading to weight gain. Similarly, being overweight often means having fatty deposits in your neck that can obstruct breathing at night and lead to obstructive sleep apnea. 

Though sleep apnea can be dangerous, the good news is—it’s treatable! There are treatment and surgical options to help you recover from sleep apnea. At Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah, our team can help you determine the right course of action for you. Contact us today to learn more

Facts About Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleeping disorder that occurs when there is a pause in breathing during sleep. Breathing can stop and start many times again throughout the night—causing one to wake up frequently. Sleep apnea makes it very difficult to get a restful night’s sleep.

There are many common misconceptions and unknowns about sleep apneas. Today, we’re sharing a few facts about sleep apnea and the risks it presents. 

1. There are multiple kinds of sleep apnea.

There are three different kinds of sleep apnea—central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send a signal to the muscles needed to take a breath. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles need to take a breath fail to because airways are obstructed. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. 

2. Sleep apnea can be life-threatening.

Sleep apnea can put you at risk for diabetes, stroke, heart attack, or other potentially life-threatening conditions. Aside from these severe risk factors, sleep apnea can also impact your night’s sleep, lead to trouble focusing during the day, and impact mental illness such as depression. 

3. Obesity puts you at high risk. 

Obesity is a significant risk factor for sleep apnea. It can not only lead to sleep apnea, but it can also worsen it. In reverse, obesity can also worsen due to sleep apnea. 

4. Snoring is a symptom, but not the only one.

Snoring is the most well-known symptom of sleep apnea but is not the only symptom. Snoring is common with sleep apnea because of the trouble breathing, but sleep apnea can occur without snoring or other obvious signs. 

5. It’s more common for men.

Statistically, more men suffer from sleep apnea than women. After they reach menopausal age, women are less likely to develop sleep apnea. Men are more likely to live a lifestyle that encourages sleep apnea. 

6. It often goes undiagnosed. 

Though sleep apnea is common, many people with the condition go undiagnosed. When airways get blocked in your sleep, sleep apnea occurs. However, because it happens during sleep, it can go unnoticed or undiagnosed for many years. According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 80% of those with sleep apnea go undiagnosed. 

7. It can be treated.

Sleep apnea can be treated in many options. A lifestyle change can help, positive airway pressure therapy or surgery are also options. 

If you are noticing symptoms of sleep apnea in you or a loved one, take action before the symptoms worsen. The professionals at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah have years of experience in treating sleep apnea through surgery. Come see us today!

Is Sleep Apnea Hereditary?

Sleep apnea can be caused by multiple factors—many of which are hereditary. Factors that are inherited through generations greatly impact your risk of sleep apnea. If your family has a family of sleep apnea and you are exhibiting symptoms, discuss it with your doctor.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, sleepiness after a full night of sleep, headaches, waking up with a dry throat, restless sleep, forgetfulness, mood changes, decrease in sex drive, depression, and lack of energy. Sleep apnea affects your sleep and therefore affects other areas of your life. You may notice sleepiness throughout the day and tossing and turning during the night. This could be a result of sleep apnea. Your sleep may also be interrupted by waking up choking or gasping for air. If you are noticing any of these symptoms, consult with your doctor to determine if you could have a form of sleep apnea. Be particularly wary if you have a family history of sleep apnea.

The Role of Genetics in Sleep Apnea

Physical traits that are inherited genetically can impact sleep apnea. The shape of your face, the shape of your skull, and the size of your jaw can all factor in. Other characteristics such as your upper airway and body fat distribution and percentage can also factor into your risk for sleep apnea.

Snoring, one of the most common tells of sleep apnea is caused by vibrations in the upper airways as air is breathed in and out during sleep. These parts of the airway vibrate because of relaxed tissues in the mouth and throat. Snoring has been proven to be hereditary, mainly because the makeup of a person’s airway is due to genetics. If your parents snore, you are more likely to develop the habit.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep. It is not one size fits all. There are three different kinds—central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form. This occurs when during sleep the soft tissues and muscles of the mouth and throat collapse, resulting in a blockage in the person’s airway. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing, causing breathing to start and stop during sleep.

There are multiple treatment options for sleep apnea. The most common is the CPAP mask which will help you breathe in your sleep. Another more permanent option is surgery.

If you’re interested in taking care of your sleep apnea through surgery, come see one of our expert surgeons at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah. Come in for a consultation to see what your options are! We are dedicated to ensuring your safety and comfort throughout the entire process. Come see us today to get started. 

Could You Have Sleep Apnea?

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that occurs when breathing is affected while sleeping. When breathing stops and starts during sleep, it can be dangerous. There are a few different kinds of sleep apnea—the most common are obstructive, central, and complex sleep apnea syndrome.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common kind—this occurs when the muscles in the throat relax. This includes the uvula, the tonsils, and the side walls of the throat and tongue. When these muscles relax, airways narrow or sometimes close altogether, making it difficult to breathe. Your brain will usually wake you up to reopen your airways when this happens.

Central sleep apnea happens when your brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles needed for breathing. Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

What are the Signs of Sleep Apnea?

There are a few signs of sleep apnea, but the most common is loud snoring. Because of the breathing difficulty that occurs, snorts, gasps, and loud snoring are common among those with sleep apnea. Other signs include not feeling rested after a full night’s sleep, having trouble focusing while awake, feeling excessive sleepiness during the day, and general irritability. Those with sleep apnea may also experience difficulty sleeping, waking up with a headache or a dry mouth in the morning. You may also have an episode of difficulty breathing during the night without waking up—this would have to be determined by another person who witnessed you sleeping.

How Do I Know if I Have Sleep Apnea?

There are certain factors that will increase your risk of sleep apnea. Some of these factors are in your control, while others are not. Some unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol use, obesity, and use of narcotic pain medication and opioid medications. Other things that increase your risk of sleep apnea include age—the older you are the higher your risk, gender—sleep apnea is much more common in men than women, nasal congestion, medical family history, and heart disorders. Your neck circumference also makes a difference—thicker necks tend to have narrower airways.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

The most common treatment option for sleep apnea is wearing a CPAP mask during sleep. CPAP therapy can be effective, but if you don’t want to wear a mask at night, you may want to look into other options. Certain oral and dental appliances can help to open airways. There are also surgical options. Surgery in the soft palate, uvula, tonsils, adenoids, tongue, upper and lower jaw, can impact sleep apnea as it can help to reduce or eliminate any extra tissue that is blocking your airways.

Losing weight can also treat sleep apnea. Though if your sleep apnea is caused by narrow nasal passages or airways, this will not be effective.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, come see us at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah. 

   

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that involves having trouble breathing regularly during sleep. There are two forms—obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea is much more common and occurs when breathing is briefly, but repeatedly interrupted during sleep. It means that the muscles in the back of the throat have failed to keep airways open. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to properly control breathing during sleep.

Who is at Risk?

Anyone can be at risk for sleep apnea, but there are a few things that may put someone at higher risk. For example, having a small upper airway can make you more vulnerable to respiratory issues. Other things that put you at risk include:

  • A large tongue, tonsils, or uvula
  • Being overweight
  • A recessed chin
  • Small jaw
  • Large overbite
  • Large neck size
  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Being age 40 or older

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, there are many symptoms to look for. The most common symptom is chronic snoring. People who suffer from sleep apnea often have trouble sleeping and may experience sleep deprivation, excessive sleepiness, or disturbed sleep. Other symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, or high blood pressure. Sleep apnea can also contribute to other serious conditions such as heart attack, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, or stroke.

Treatments Options for Sleep Apnea

Once you’ve determined that you have sleep apnea, there are a few different courses of action. One option may be dental appliances that can reposition the lower jaw. You may also want to try some lifestyle changes such as living a more active lifestyle, losing weight, avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking, and so on. There may also be surgical options to open up airways in the upper respiratory system. Using a CPAP mask is also a quick fix that is very effective. These masks fit over the nose and mouth to blow air gently through airways during sleep.

Treatment options may differ based on each person, the severity of their condition, and personal preferences. Many people may want to avoid a CPAP mask as it can make sleeping uncomfortable. Surgery options may be a more long-term solution to getting your restful night’s sleep back. At Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah, our trained team of professionals are dedicated to helping you achieve your desired result. Our top priorities are your health and comfort.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, see your doctor. They may refer you to a sleep center where you can determine a plan of action. Usually, sleep apnea is diagnosed with a sleep study that requires an overnight stay.

7 Facts About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that disrupted your breathing while you sleep. Depending on the type of sleep apnea and its severity, it can have lasting effects. This condition is more common than you may realize. Familiarizing yourself with it could help you or a loved one in the future.

1. Many people don’t realize that have it.

Sleep apnea can easily go undiagnosed. According to sleepapnea.org, about 22 million Americans have sleep apnea and 80% go undiagnosed. With about 24% of men suffering from the condition and 9% of women, it is more common than most realize. If you think you may have any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, come into our offices and we’ll work through it with you.

2. It can lead to other serious complications.

When left untreated, sleep apnea can be very dangerous and even life-threatening. It can lead to other complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes, an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, a heart attack, a stroke, or other conditions. It can also increase your risk of developing depression. In fact, many people will not realize they have sleep apnea because they mistake it for depression when in reality the two can go hand in hand. Because sleep apnea can also mean loud snoring, it may be affecting your partner and their sleep as well.

3. It can be treated.

There are several treatment options for sleep apnea. Some simple lifestyle changes may be the answer. A CPAP—or continuous positive airflow pressure—mask can also help. These masks can help those with moderate to severe sleep apnea breathe a little easier through the night as it will keep airway passage open. Other options include mouthpieces and certain types of surgery for a more permanent solution.

4. Middle-aged men are the most affected.

Sleep apnea is much more common in men than in women. It is most common in middle-aged, overweight men. Women can also develop sleep apnea and are much more likely to do so after they have reached menopause.

5. Snoring is a symptom but not the only one.

Though it is often the easiest symptom to recognize, loud snoring is not the only sign of sleep apnea. Other signs include feeling excessively sleepy, falling asleep during the day, waking up in the night, choking or gasping sounds, dry mouth, mood swings, trouble focusing, and morning headaches. Not all snorers have sleep apnea.

6. Obesity is a risk factor.

Multiple medical conditions can trigger sleep apnea, including obesity. Though it’s not the case for everyone dealing with sleep apnea, a majority of people who suffer from it are overweight. Dropping some pounds can ease symptoms.

7. There are multiple types of sleep apnea.

Did you know that there are different types of sleep apnea? For example, there is obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type, happens when the muscles in your throat are obstructed during sleep. The other main kind is central sleep apnea which occurs when your brain and muscles have a disconnect.