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What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that millions of Americans suffer from every night that is caused by airway obstruction of their esophagus. Most people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t even realize it. If you suffer from sleep apnea there is a good chance that you aren’t getting a restful night sleep. Instead you spend the night on the edge of sleep, never fully descending into the deep, REM cycles that you need to awake fully rested. At Premier Sleep Associates, our passion lies in curing our patients sleep apnea using a wide variety of effective approaches.

What are the signs of Sleep Apnea?

Signs of Sleep Apnea

There is a good chance that if you snore, you experience at least some level of sleep disturbance. If you wake up in the morning after 7-8 hours of sleep and are still consistently tired you may have sleep apnea. The following is a short list of signs of sleep apnea:
  • Snoring
  • Insomnia and difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up gasping for breath, or short of breath
  • Reports of snorting or sudden choking sounds
  • Persistent headaches throughout the day
  • Incessant sleepiness or grogginess
  • Needing to take naps during the day

Why Sleep Apnea Occurs

Sleep apnea can be brought on by a wide range of oral and general health issues. There are some general health indicators that make the occurrence of sleep apnea more likely such as obesity, being male, and being over the age of 40. That being said, sleep apnea can affect anyone from children to adults, male or female.

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

If it goes untreated for long enough sleep apnea can lead to a number of serious health risks such as:

  • Stroke

  • High blood pressure

  • Depression

  • Heart failure

It may not seem like a serious issue because of how easy it is to ignore but sleep apnea can reduce a person’s life span by several years if left untreated.


What is Happening When You Stop Breathing at Night?

There are two different forms of sleep apnea. The first is known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) where the airway is blocked usually when the soft tissue at the back of the throat relaxes and causes the airway to close. OSA is the most common form of sleep apnea. Consider sleeping on your back and as you fall asleep your muscles relax. Your jaw will relax along with the rest of your body and as it does gravity will pull it down into your neck. Your tongue and some of the fleshy part of your throat can easily narrow, if not block your airway entirely.

The other form of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is a less common condition than OSA and is caused when the brain fails to send the signal to your muscles to breath. This is often linked to an innate instability in the patient’s respiratory control center in the brain. Fortunately, we have the ability and the expertise to treat all forms of sleep apnea. Just give us a call today at 425-247-3450 and we will schedule you for a no obligation consultation with one of our sleep specialists.

Sleep apnea is serious and possibly life-threatning
Helping indivudals overcome this breathing disorder is our passion.

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