It’s estimated that half of us snore at some point during our lives. That can be a serious nuisance for those nearby. It may also be a sign of a serious disorder called sleep apnea, which is treatable at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO.
Snoring and sleep apnea are often related. Many people who snore also have sleep apnea. However, the conditions are not one and the same.
Why Is Sleep Apnea So Dangerous?
People with sleep apnea actually stop breathing. This can happen many times during the night. This cuts off air supply to the brain. When the brain is starved of oxygen serious problems can occur.
Patients with sleep apnea are at risk for heart problems including high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. They are also at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
One of the most common symptoms is daytime fatigue. This makes ordinary activities overwhelming. Untreated sleep apnea lowers the quality of life.
The problems are not limited to the person with the disorder. Their bed partner is also deprived of restorative sleep and, as such, is at risk of health complications.
How do you know if you have sleep apnea?
If you suffer from daytime sleepiness, or your partner says you stop breathing temporarily during sleep, see your doctor right away. If you want to start out with a specialist, ask your primary doctor for a recommendation. In the U.S., the American Board of Sleep Medicine certifies physicians who treat sleep disorders.
Your doctor will diagnose whether you have sleep apnea and which of the three types you have. This may require a visit to a sleep disorder clinic.
If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, make sure you research all treatment options.
Sleep apnea can be treated with an oral appliance, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), or surgery.
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