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 during sleep, and can be the result 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.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three different types of sleep apnea, each with their own symptoms and causes:
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.
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.
Complex – Some individuals are plagued by both obstructive and central sleep apnea, which makes up complex sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Some cases of sleep apnea can be easier to distinguish than others. Unforntuately, 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.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
One of the leading causes of sleep apnea in the United States is obesity; those who are overweight are at a higher risk of experiencing obstructive sleep apnea, as it is the result of excess tissue in the back of the throat blocking breathing passages. If you are overweight and you snore excessively throughout the night, there is a very high chance that you are experiencing sleep apnea.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can be the result a number of things, many of which are preventable:
Obesity – Those who are overweight suffer over four times the risk of having sleep apnea when compared to others that are of normal weight.
Heart Disease – Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of heart disease. Since heart disease is the number one killer of people in the United States, we need to look at Sleep Apnea with much more watchful of an approach because of this one risk factor alone.
Narrow airways – Having a narrow airway is sure to lead to sleep apnea, as they do not provide enough room for air to pass through properly. Some are born with narrow airways, however they can also be the result of enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
Age – Sleep apnea can affect anyone of any age, however older individuals face an
Genetics – If you have family members who suffer from sleep apnea, you will be at a higher risk than usual.
Gender – Men face twice as much risk for sleep apnea, however women face and increased risk after menopause.
Smoking – Smoking regularly causes relaxation in the throat, which can lead to sleep apnea over time. In fact, smokers face a three times larger risk of sleep apnea than non-smokers.
Alcohol consumption – Drinking alcohol can contribute to the relaxation of the throat as well, and is a common cause of sleep apnea.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Treating sleep apnea is largely dependent the type and cause of the issue; those who are overweight should consider weight loss in our 8 Weeks to Wellness Program, it will be the most effective long-term solution. 8 Weeks to Wellness will not only help resolve the sleep apnea but it will lower your over all risk of chronic disease all together. Smokers and drinkers should consider quitting. They lead to a much higher risk of sleep apnea, and quitting can end the issue for good, as well as provide for a number of other health benefits that come along with minimal consumption of the two. By quitting smoking and drinking, you not only lower your chance of developing sleep apnea, but you also face a lower risk of cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Those who face sleep apnea as a result of genetics or age should consider using a CPAP to
help them sleep at night. The term ‘CPAP’ is short for ‘Continuous Positive Airway Pressure,’ and is an excellent solution to stop sleep apnea. A CPAP is a device which is placed over the patient’s nose, delivering air to the body. The device keeps air passages from closing or being blocked, which lowers the risk of sudden wake-ups throughout the night.
If you believe you could be suffering from sleep apnea, contact me, Dr. Julie McLaughlin today to learn more about the causes and treatments of the issue. Here at McLaughlin care, we offer a renowned 8 Weeks to Wellness program that can help you better your overall health, as well as help you to lose weight. We can also offer advice on how to quit drinking or smoking, improve your nutrition, lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar and metabolic syndrome. Fitness is also an important aspect to the program. We offer nutritional counseling which can help you become your best self, as well as rid yourself of sleep apnea and other chronic diseases.. At McLaughlin care, our goal is to help you be the very best you can be, making us not only the best chiropractors in Lake Buff, but the best nutritional counselors as well. Contact us today to learn more about your options, so you can start your path to living your best life.