An estimated 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, with as many as 80% of cases undiagnosed. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to cardiovascular problems like atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, and stroke. At Sleep Better Tampa in Florida, Juliet Bulnes-Newton diagnoses and treats sleep apnea to improve your ability to breathe at night and improve your quality of sleep. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Sleep apnea is a potentially deadly sleep disorder that causes your breathing to stop and start while you are sleeping. If you feel tired even after sleeping or snore loudly, you may have sleep apnea.
The most common forms of sleep apnea include:
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the throat muscles relax during sleep. The airway becomes narrower as you breathe in and prevents you from getting enough air. Your brain recognizes your inability to breathe and wakes you up just enough to reopen your airway.
People with obstructive sleep apnea might choke, gasp, or snort five to 30 times or more per hour and be unable to reach the deep and restful phases of sleep.
Not as common as obstructive sleep apnea, some people experience central sleep apnea during sleep when their brain doesn’t send the appropriate signals to the muscles that control breathing. You may awaken with shortness of breath because your body makes no effort to breathe for short periods.
People with both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea are considered to have complex sleep apnea syndrome. It’s sometimes called treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.
Symptoms and signs of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea are similar, so it is difficult to know which type of sleep disorder you have. Common symptoms of both types of sleep apnea include:
People with sleep apnea also tend to feel irritable due to interrupted sleep patterns.
A dental sleep specialist like Dr. Bulnes-Newton determines the best treatment option for the type of sleep apnea you have. Mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea may be treated with dental appliances or devices that prevent the tongue from blocking the throat or advance the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open.
Moderate to severe sleep apnea may require a CPAP machine to keep your airways open while you sleep.
Call the office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about sleep apnea treatments.