Are you a snorer? While you may not notice your own snoring, members of your household are most likely very familiar with it. What you might not realize is that loud, persistent snoring can be an indicator of something more serious known as sleep apnea.
Dr. Samuel Fink and his team are experts at diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, helping many patients who’ve been in your shoes.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder that repeatedly interrupts your breathing while you’re asleep. The “apnea” portion of sleep apnea refers to a pause in breathing that lasts for 10 seconds or longer. There are three kinds of sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea
This is the most common form of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles and tissues in the back of your throat relax and cause a blockage in your airways.
Central sleep apnea
Central sleep apnea is caused by improper signals being sent from your brain to the muscles that control your breathing.
Complex sleep apnea syndrome
Complex sleep apnea is rare and occurs when an individual has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. Typically, complex sleep apnea begins as obstructive sleep apnea and then progress into central sleep apnea, and eventually complex sleep apnea.
What are some common signs of sleep apnea?
No matter what type of sleep apnea you might be suffering from, there are many signs to look out for that indicate a problem you need to have checked out. Some of these signs include:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up throughout the night with a gasping or choking sensation
- Restless sleep
- Waking up in the morning with a dry or sore throat
- Headaches upon waking in the morning
- Lethargic and lacking energy throughout the day
- Mood changes
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Sleep apnea is most commonly diagnosed through a sleep study (also known as a polysomnogram). When you come in for a consultation, Dr. Fink will ask you about your symptoms, your nightly routine, and your overall health history. He may recommend a sleep study that can be done either at your home or in a sleep lab.
During a sleep study, specialized equipment monitors and records your sleep patterns throughout the night. The study only lasts for a single night.
There are a number of treatments for sleep apnea. Often, losing weight can eliminate the problem. Dr. Fink can recommend the best options for getting a better, more restful sleep — for you and your whole house.
If you’re suffering from sleep apnea symptoms such as loud snoring, morning headaches, or a general lack of energy throughout the day, come in for a consultation. Call today, or schedule an appointment online.