Loud snoring sleepers seem to be the butt of many jokes on television and in real life. However, with approximately 22 million Americans suffering from sleep apnea each year, it doesn’t seem as funny. Especially when we start to discuss the serious complications that can result from avoiding treatment. Today we’re going to be sharing the top five things you need to know about sleep apnea so that you or your loved ones can get the help they need!
1) There are Three Types of Sleep Apnea.
It’s true! The three types of sleep apnea differ based upon what function causes the sleep disruption.
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): This type of Sleep Apnea begins in the Respiratory Control Center in the Central Nervous System. In CSA, breathing is not blocked but does become shallow and slow.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This form involves a partial or complete obstruction in the breathing process.
- Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome: Also known as Mixed Sleep Apnea or Treatment-Emergent Central Sleep Apnea, this refers to a patient who has both CSA and OSA.
2) Sleep Apnea is More than Just “Loud Snoring.”
When most people think of sleep apnea, the two symptoms that immediately come to mind are the loud snoring and the gasping for breath. However, there are many other red flags that can alert you to a potential problem:
- Restless sleeping
- Waking up with a sore/dry throat
- Night sweats
- Difficulty focusing/concentrating during the day
- Nighttime urination
- Gasping and/or choking for breath
3) Sleep Apnea is No Joke.
If left untreated, sleep apnea comes with many possible complications. Many of those complications relate to the lack of sleep that comes as a result of sleep apnea. Poor sleep quality can lead to:
- Decreased productivity
- Mood swings
- Cognitive impairment
Over time, sleep apnea can also lead to increased risk for several health conditions, such as:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes or Gestational Diabetes
- Liver issues
- Kidney disease
If you or someone you love suspects they may have sleep apnea, contact your doctor today to get screened and begin treatment. Your Family Medical’s Boyd pain and wellness center (locations also in Bedford, Benbrook, Lewisville and Justin) has resources available to help get your sleep and health back on track!
4) Achieving and Maintaining a Healthy Weight REALLY Helps.
Treatments have come a long way and offer incredible benefits for managing the symptoms of sleep apnea. And the best news is that one of the top treatments is non-invasive, low cost and offers many additional health benefits: achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
When a patient carries excess weight, there’s an increased likelihood of extra tissue being present that could block airways during sleep. Studies show that even a loss of 10% of your body weight can lead to reduced symptoms.
Additional treatment options include:
- Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy
- Dental appliances
- Additional lifestyle changes (reduced alcohol consumption, quit smoking, etc.)
5) Your Family Doctor Can Help You Manage Your Sleep Apnea.
We know living with sleep apnea can be challenging not only for the patient but also the patient’s family. The good news is that your family doctor can do many things to help support you on your journey to health and better sleep for all! When you schedule an appointment with one of our Boyd pain and wellness specialists (locations also in Bedford, Benbrook, Lewisville and Justin), we will give you a thorough assessment and ensure the appropriate testing and diagnostic procedures.
We can also walk with you through the process of finding the right specialists as needed, help you create and maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan and continue to monitor your progress in improving your overall health.
Whether it’s sleep apnea, chronic pain or anything in between, Your Family Medical has a specialist for you. We work hard to ensure every patient that we see feels heard, respected and treated with the highest quality care. Schedule a consultation today at one of our five convenient Texas locations to discuss your unique health goals. We’re in this together!