You may have heard about sleep apnea, but even patients who have it don’t always realize it. In fact, for many patients, the condition can seem like nothing more than an annoying snoring habit. The truth, though, is that sleep apnea may be one of the biggest influences on your overall quality of life. It not only deprives you of restful sleep, but can also have a significant impact on your risks for certain other chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease.
What obstructive sleep apnea means
Sleep apnea is a sleep breathing disorder, meaning it affects your respiratory system as well as your sleeping pattern. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea will stop breathing multiple times throughout the night due to an obstruction in their airway. This obstruction is usually the cause of oral tissues collapsing into the airway, and the repeated disruptions to your breathing can stop you from entering deep, R.E.M. levels of sleep. Because the obstruction is gradual, the defining symptom of obstructive sleep apnea is chronic, increasingly louder snoring, followed by moments of silence, and then more snoring.
How it affects your quality of life
The longer sleep apnea is left untreated, the greater effect it can have on several different aspects of your life. Lack of truly restful sleep can cause decreasing mental capacity, an inability to concentrate, increasing mood swings, and more. Trouble breathing properly every night can lead to increased risks of respiratory trouble and heart disease. To help you avoid these risks, you may be able to find comfortable relief with a custom-designed sleep apnea appliance.
Find Out How to Treat Your Sleep Apnea
If you experience sleep apnea, then you should seek treatment as soon as possible from your sleep expert. To learn more, call Houston Sleep Solutions in Spring, TX, at (281) 320-2000, or in Pearland, TX, at (832) 564-3508.