Roughly 22 million Americans suffer with sleep apnea – the cessation of breathing while sleeping. It is a fairly under-recognized disease with life-damaging and life-shortening consequences. Much can be done for the cause of education regarding sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Overview
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder, caused by a lack of breathing during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea:
1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when your airway is blocked as the tongue collapses against the soft palate, closing the airway.
2. Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe.
3. Complex Sleep Apnea is a combination of two separate sleep apnea conditions that rouses the sleeper to partially signal breathing to resume.
You might have sleep apnea if …
- You wake up during the night gasping for air
- You tend to choke during sleep
- You are a loud snorer
- You wake up with painful and inexplicable headaches in the morning
- You wake up with a sore throat or dry m
- You have noticed increased memory problems and have difficulty concentrating
Treatment options include weight loss, avoiding sleeping on one’s back, or nighttime dental devices that push the lower jaw or tongue forward to prevent the tongue and soft palate from falling.
Pediatric sleep apnea
If your child frequently snores while they are asleep, they may be dealing with sleep apnea as the majority of children who deal with sleep apnea snore. The most effective way to treat pediatric sleep apnea in children is through the removal of tonsils and adenoids.
For more information on sleep apnea and its treatments, visit www.sleepapnea.org.