What is Sleep Apnea?
Usually when you sleep, the muscles that control the upper airway relax, this is normal. However, if they relax too much the airway narrows and you snore. The muscles can relax even further causing a blockage of the airway and you actually stop breathing. This is called “Obstructive Sleep Apnea” (OSA). Other factors can cause this as well. An enlarged uvula or swollen tonsils, a nasal obstruction or certain facial attributes can also cause OSA. Each episode can last ten seconds or more and has been known to happen hundreds of times a night disrupting your sleep without you even being aware that it’s happening.
What Happens if Sleep Apnea is Left Untreated?
If you suspect that you might suffer from sleep apnea and you don’t seek treatment you put yourself at risk for:
- High Blood Pressure
- Fatigue Related Accidents
- Heart Attack
- Strained Relationships
- Heart Disease
- Decreased Quality of Life
Sleep Apnea Checklist
This checklist can help you identify some of the more common signs of sleep apnea:
- Do you gasp or stop breathing during sleep?
- Do you often feel tired even after a full night’s sleep?
- Have your energy levels decreased?
- Have your motivation levels decreased?
- Do you sometimes have trouble concentrating?
- Are you overweight?
- Do you snore?
- Does anyone in your family have a history of sleep apnea?
- Do you suffer from high blood pressure?
- Have you suffered a stroke or heart attack?
This checklist is by no means a substitute for a professional diagnosis, but it can help you determine whether or not to seek a professional opinion.
For information or to schedule an appointment, call 516-218-9097