About Sleep Apnea/Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Sleep apnea is a very dangerous disorder. In fact there are several sleep disorders that are classified by the International Classification of Sleep Disorders. Sleep apnea is characterized by stoppage of breathing during sleep. This stoppage is called an "Apnea". These stoppages can happen up to 100 times within an hour and last 5 to 30 seconds at a time. The reduction in breathing can greatly reduce the body's oxygen levels and become harmful to many areas of the body.

There are two types of sleep apnea, central and obstructive. Central apnea results when the nervous system fails to make the body breath. This type of apnea will need to be treated by a physician. The other type of Sleep Apnea is Obstrutive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This apnea is characterized by airways being obstructed during sleep whether it is the tongue, nasal passages, or weight gain. Dentists can help manage Obstructive Sleep Apnea through the use of oral appliances, but for right now, the CPAP machine is the gold standard of treatment

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

  • Snoring
  • Gasping for air at night
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • High Blood pressure
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Headaches

Sleep apnea has also been associated with many life threatening diseases such as heart attacks and stroks. The lack of oxygen due to lack of breathing can be very stressful on the cardiovascular system. Sleep apnea has also been linked to gastric reflux (GERD). The extreme "pumping" action of the chest and stomach region when struggling for breath can pull acid up from the stomach. Some sleep disturbances have also been linked to painful conditions such as fibromyalgia and irritable bowl syndrome

Diseases associated with Sleep Apnea

  • Heart Attacks
  • Strokes
  • Gastric Reflux (GERD)
  • High Blood pressure

Watch these videos about sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea Causes Man to breathe once a minute

Jason T. Lipscomb D.D.S.