Are you concerned that your daytime exhaustion could be due to this sleep disorder?
Sleep apnea is more common than you might think and it could be what’s making your sleep less than sound. If you are a loud, chronic snorer or if you experience daytime fatigue most days of the week then our Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee, FL, otolaryngologists - Dr. Leslie Berghash, Dr. John Lanza, and Dr. Camysha Wright - are here to tell you why you may just want to get this issue checked out immediately. Discover everything you could ever wish to know about sleep apnea.
Q. What is sleep apnea?
A. This sleep disorder is characterized by pauses in breath, or shallow breathing, throughout the course of the night. When this occurs this means that the brain and the body aren’t getting the proper amount of oxygen they need. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the tissues in the back of the throat collapse and block the airways.
Q. What are the warning signs?
A. The most common warning sign of sleep apnea is chronic and excessive fatigue. This exhaustion occurs the moment you wake up and lasts all day long. You may find it difficult to concentrate at work or you may nod off at your desk or behind the wheel during your daily commute.
You may also notice that you are more irritable and prone to mood swings and that your memory is a bit hazy. Many people with sleep apnea are also very loud snorers. In some cases, the partner of the sleep apnea sufferer may even notice the person waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air.
Q. How can sleep apnea affect my health?
A. If sleep apnea is left untreated it can greatly increase your risk for a variety of long-term and serious health problems such as:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
Q. How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
A. If our Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee ENT doctor suspects that you have sleep apnea, you will have to undergo a sleep study where a medical technician will monitor you while you sleep to look for patterns and signs of sleep apnea.
Q. How is this sleep disorder treated?
A. The most common treatment option for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy, in which a mask is worn over the nose and mouth to deliver pressurized air to keep the airways from collapsing while you sleep. If your obstructive sleep apnea is mild, you may only need to wear a simple oral appliance at night.
If you suspect that you might be dealing with sleep apnea, or if you are just having trouble falling or staying asleep, then it’s time to sit down with the ENT specialists at South Coast Ear, Nose & Throat. We offer locations in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee, FL.