McLaughlin Care

900 North Shore Drive, #170 

Lake Bluff, IL 60044


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  • Dr. Julie McLauglhin

Sleep Apnea 101

While there are a number of sleep disorders that plague patients around the world, one of the most dangerous and debilitating is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is the result of poor breathing or even periods of time when you stop breathing during sleep. The result can be from of a number of causes. It can be difficult to diagnose sleep apnea, however snoring and ongoing fatigue are two of the most common signs of sleep apnea in a patient. But the super dangerous silent sign of sleep apnea is heart disease and even a heart attack.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three different types of sleep apnea, each with their own symptoms and causes:

1. Obstructive – The large majority of those affected by sleep apnea have what is known as obstructive sleep apnea; this is the result of throat muscles over-relaxing during sleep, which in turn closes the air passages and prevents proper breathing. This can be due to excess weight, heredity or just the shape of your face.

2. Central – Central sleep apnea is far less common than the obstructive variety, however the symptoms are largely the same. This variation of sleep apnea is caused by the brain not sending the proper signals to the breathing muscles, which in turn causing poor sleep and intermittent waking.

3. Complex – Some individuals are plagued by both obstructive and central sleep apnea, which makes up complex sleep apnea and should be address immediately.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Some cases of sleep apnea can be easier to distinguish than others. Unfortunately, the symptoms of Obstructive and Central sleep apnea often overlap, making them hard to distinguish from each other, but if you are experiencing any of the following, pay a visit to your doctor to learn more about your case of sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring, particularly when you are sleeping on your back or sides.

  • Waking up with headaches in the morning or throughout the night.

  • Having the inability to sleep regularly, or bouts of insomnia.

  • Tiredness and sleepiness throughout the day.

  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat with seemingly no explanation.

  • Irritability throughout the day.

  • Points in the night where you wake up as a result of stopped breathing.

Any of these signs can be the result of sleep apnea, and if you are experiencing combined symptoms, call our office to learn more about your options. Here at McLaughlin Care, we can help to determine which solution may be best for your case. 847-234-2346