Introduction to Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If you suffer from sleep apnea, it means that you periodically stop breathing in your sleep (up to hundreds of times per night). Different kinds of sleep apnea are defined by how the patient stops breathing.
For instance, central sleep apnea originates from a misfire within your central nervous system that stops your muscles from expanding and contracting as necessary. Essentially, your body “forgets” to breathe, and treating CSA can require the expertise of a neurological specialist.
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is caused by a physical obstruction of your airway, typically from over-relaxed and/or abnormally sized oral tissues, like your tongue. As the airway closes, the condition will cause increasingly loud snoring (not present with CSA), until the airway is completely blocked and the patient stops breathing.
After a few moments, the mind and body panic, jolting awake long enough to begin breathing again (though usually not enough to wake you fully, so you may never remember having woken up). Even if you are not conscious of them, the episodes can stop you from entering deep, REM sleep, which is needed for your brain and body to rejuvenate.
Health Risks Associated With Sleep Apnea
Because the interruptions can repeat themselves hundreds of times a night, OSA can result in prolonged sleep and oxygen deprivation, which can eventually take a toll on your systemic well-being. The problem with sleep apnea, however, is that you may not realize you have the condition, either because you don’t remember waking up, or because you believe that snoring is nothing to be concerned about.
Over time, obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk for certain health conditions, including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Heart disease/heart attacks
- Irregular heartbeat
- Gastro-esophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
- And more
Dr. Roberts is intimately familiar with obstructive sleep apnea – like his patients, he also suffers from the condition, and is passionate about helping others find relief and improve their quality of life. By seeking appropriate sleep treatment for snoring and sleep apnea, you can reduce your risks of these and other health issues, and finally begin enjoying sound, peaceful nights of sleep. For more detailed information on treating sleep apnea you can also visit Dr. Roberts’ sleep site.
Learn More About the Risks of Sleep Apnea
To find out if your health is at risk from sleep apnea, then schedule a visit as soon as possible. To learn more, call our dental office in Baxter, MN, today at (218) 454-0523. Our office proudly serves the residents of Baxter, as well as Brainerd, Little Falls, Staples, Crosby-Ironton-Deerwood, and all surrounding communities.