Understanding Sleep Apnea

When people develop obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), treatment is crucial for avoiding serious complications, such as exhaustion and even poor heart health. In today’s blog, we’re going to discuss the causes of OSA and the risk factors for sleep apnea, and help our Pearland, TX, patients gain a better understanding of this serious sleep disorder.

How Does the Disorder Start?

With sleep apnea, people actually stop breathing for brief periods throughout the night. The soft tissues in the throat and in the back of the mouth become too relaxed as they sleep, collapsing and blocking air passages. People stop breathing until the brain registers the lack of oxygen and wakes them to resume breathing. However, few people remember these waking episodes, even though they may happen dozens of times each hour. Over time, the disorder means serious sleep deprivation, which leads to exhaustion and complications for your overall health.

Risk Factors

OSA may impact teens and adults, and men and women. That said, studies show that men over the age of 55 tend to be most likely to suffer from sleep apnea. Risk factors include obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, large neck circumference, deviated septum, and issues with congestion and allergies. Part of the diagnosis and treatment process will involve identifying the risk factors behind your disorder, so we can make positive changes to your daily routine and life to limit the occurrence of apneic episodes.

Warning Signs

When should you see the dentist for treatment? Common warning signs include chronic snoring, waking up choking or struggling to breathe at night, dry mouth in the mornings, headaches throughout the day, daytime exhaustion, and trouble concentrating on tasks at work or school. You may also experience moodiness. If one or more of these potential warning signs feels familiar, then contact our team for a home sleep test, which allows us to accurately diagnose the issue with a small machine from the comfort of your own home. If we find you suffer from OSA, then we may prescribe an oral appliance that fits comfortably and prevents blockage of airflow at night. Remember, treatment is crucial because otherwise, OSA could strain your immune system and your cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of heart disease, hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. If you have any questions about identifying and treating sleep apnea, or if you feel like you need a consultation, then please contact our team today.

We Can Answer Your OSA Questions!

We would love to answer your questions and help you gain a better understanding of this serious sleep disorder. To learn more about our improving your rest or to try our convenient home sleep test, please call Houston Sleep Solutions in Spring, TX, at (281) 320-2000, or in Pearland, TX, at (832) 564-3508.