Even if you aren’t aware of it, you may have frequent stops and starts in your breathing as you sleep, making it impossible to get the rest your body badly needs. This is often due to a condition known as sleep apnea.
This fairly common disorder can increase your risk of daytime tiredness and keep you from performing your best at school or work. It can also threaten your health. Dr. Yeung is a sleep apnea expert with considerable experience in helping people overcome the health challenges associated with this frustrating disorder.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to temporarily stop breathing as you sleep. These pauses can occur hundreds of times through the night and prevent your body and brain from getting the oxygen they crave.
There are two types of sleep apnea. The most common, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), comes on because of an obstruction in the airways that occurs when the tissue structures at the back of your throat relax and collapse during sleep.
The second type is central sleep apnea (CSA). It’s not common and isn’t due to obstruction in your airway. Rather, it occurs when your brain fails to signal your muscles to breathe. CSA may be caused by certain medications, including narcotic pain relievers, and it’s sometimes linked to congestive heart failure or neuromuscular disorders.
Sleep apnea can occur in anyone at any age, even infants and children. Newborns are sometimes sent home with monitors that alert parents to episodes of apnea, especially infants who were born prematurely.
However, you’re more likely to develop OSA if you’re:
Other factors that may increase your risk of developing OSA include:
Regardless of which type you have, the symptoms of sleep apnea often overlap and may include:
The lack of sleep, which your body requires to remain healthy, and the oxygen deprivation caused by sleep apnea increases your risk for:
Treatments often depend on the severity of your symptoms and may include:
If you think sleep apnea may be making you tired, schedule an appointment at Houston Sinus Surgery.