Good quality sleep is vital to everyday health. Poor sleep can cause loss of concentration, headaches and low energy. There are times it is possible to even lead to increased rates of infection, cardiovascular problems, and hypertension. One reason you may be experiencing poor quality sleep is a condition known as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where sleep is interrupted by irregular breathing while in your various sleep stages. It can take the form of breathing pause (apnea) or very shallow breathing (hypopnea). Both can last from several seconds to minutes, and can occur as much as 30 times per hour. When breathing is paused, carbon dioxide builds up in the blood stream, and the brain signals the body to wake up and breath, causing the interruption in sleep.
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OPA), which is caused by a physical obstruction of the airway while sleeping. When you snore, obstructive sleep apnea causes the muscles around the airway to relax and narrow, causing the air moving through the airway to make noise. Snoring is not a guaranteed sign of sleep apnea, a sleep test may be in order.
A way to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea is an overnight sleep study, where doctors will record your airflow, heart rate, oxygen and brain activity to determine whether breathing is impacting your sleep. If a sleeping issue is diagnosed, treatment options are available. Various techniques can help with airflow, like lifestyle changes, medical devices, or surgery.
If you’re interested in learning more about sleep apnea, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.
Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.