Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that stops people from breathing anywhere from for 10 to 30 seconds at a time while sleeping. These short stops in breathing can happen up to 400 times every night, disturbing your sleep even though they do not fully wake you up. Sleep apnea occurs when the tissue in the back of your throat collapses and blocks the airway, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to your brain, heart and other organs. Even though sleep apnea is common, it is very serious and can be potentially life-threatening if not treated.
Types of Sleep Apnea
These are the different types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common, and occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway often causing loud snoring.
- Central sleep apnea is much less common, and affects the central nervous system. The muscles you use to breathe don’t get the “go-ahead” signal from your brain. Either the brain doesn’t send the signal, or the signal gets interrupted. People with central sleep apnea seldom snore.
- Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
It can be difficult to identify sleep apnea on your own since most symptoms occur while you’re asleep. One common sign is fighting sleepiness during the day at work, or falling asleep during quiet moments of the day when you’re not active. Here are more common signs and symptoms to be aware of:
- Morning headaches
- Memory or learning problems
- Waking up frequently to urinate
- Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
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Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris of Mansfield Dental Associates rely upon their years of experience, training, and cutting-edge technology to offer patients expert dental care at each and every visit. They listen to each patient’s concerns and offer gentle, informative guidance about future treatments. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call 817-473-6227. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris proudly treat patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian and neighboring areas.