Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a life-threatening health problem that many people do not know about. Snoring is one of the primary signs that you may be suffering from OSA.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
OSA is a condition in which you stop breathing while you sleep because your airway becomes blocked. In some people the blockage is caused by the muscles of the throat and mouth relaxing. It can also be caused by blockage in your nasal passages, too much tissue in the airway, or the structure of your jaw.
When you stop breathing your oxygen levels drop, your brain recognizes the danger, and you begin to wake up. You may not wake up entirely, but you wake up enough to adjust and start breathing again, and the you fall back asleep. This cycle can happen as many as 100 times an hour. Many people with OSA are not aware that this is happening at all.
If I Don't Notice It, Why Is OSA a Problem?
Even though you don't notice waking up, OSA causes sleep deprivation and oxygen deprivation. Over time OSA can lead to deadly health problems including heart disease and strokes. Serious health problems caused by OSA can include:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Poor metabolism
- Gastric reflux
- Muscle pain
- Loss of short term memory
- Cognitive impairment
- ADD and ADHD
- Mood swings/temperamental behavior
- Severe anxiety
Symptoms of OSA
Before you develop the serious problems listed above, you may notice disturbing symptoms such as:
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Morning headaches
- Foggy thinking
- Mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
- Decreased performance on the job or at school
- Waking up in the night choking or gasping for air
- Chronic snoring
Seek relief from the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea with specialized treatment from Think Better Life. If you or a loved one may be losing sleep due to OSA, call 1-847-533-8313 today for a consultation with our renowned sleep apnea dentists.