What is Sleep Apnea – Coronado, CA
What’s Keeping You Up at Night?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that could be waking you up multiple times every night without you even realizing it; it happens any time your breathing is frequently interrupted while you’re asleep. Some patients might not even realize they have this condition. Dr. Popp and Dr. Bailey can answer any questions you have about sleep-disordered breathing and point you in the right direction for treatment. If you or your partner think this condition could be interrupting your sweet dreams, schedule an appointment at our Coronado practice today.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
When a dentist mentions sleep apnea, chances are they’re specifically talking about obstructive sleep apnea. This is when something – most likely tissues near the back of your mouth and throat that have collapsed – is blocking the airway, preventing you from breathing normally. The body will wake itself up to get some oxygen, but if it happens too many times during the night, you won’t reach the deep, restorative stages of sleep.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Loud snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea; other people might also notice you suffering from sleep apnea episodes or gasping for air while you’re asleep. For those who live alone, signs of sleep apnea that you might notice on your own include:
- Frequently waking up with a headache and/or a very dry mouth.
- Suffering from insomnia.
- Feeling excessively drowsy during the day.
- Lack of focus.
- Being generally irritable.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
During obstructive. The back of your throat contains many muscles that help support your soft palate, your uvula, your tonsils, the side of your throat, and the tongue. If these muscles collapse, the airway becomes narrower and might even close altogether. This can repeat anywhere from 5 to 30 times per hour every night.
There is another (much rarer) form of sleep apnea called central sleep apnea, which is when the brain does not automatically send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Factors That Increase the Risk of Sleep Apnea
There are many different factors that can make it more likely you’ll suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, such as:
- Excess Weight: Fat deposits near the upper airway can potentially block breathing.
- Your Anatomy: You have a higher risk of sleep apnea if you have a naturally thicker neck or a narrow throat.
- Being Male: Men are two to three times more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, although women can still suffer from the disorder.
- Age: Sleep apnea occurs much more frequently in older adults.