About Sleep Apnea
Do you have trouble sleeping? If so, you’re not alone.
An estimated 56 million Americans suffer from a lack of sleep and even exhaustion caused by sleep apnea. Chronic snoring problems and interrupted sleep aren’t just an inconvenience. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to more serious health risks. Sleep apnea is a common but serious sleep disorder that causes interruptions in breathing during sleep.
Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When we sleep, the combination of gravity and our muscles relaxing allows the tongue and surrounding soft tissues to fall back into the throat, obstructing airflow in your airway. This can pause your breathing, and these pauses are called apneas.
The word ‘apnea’ means without breath. A person may have partial pauses in breathing (hypopneas), or complete pauses (apneas) that last 10 seconds or longer during sleep. These pauses in breathing are often accompanied by a drop in blood oxygen level.
The struggle to breathe and the drop in oxygen saturation will eventually cause the person to momentarily wake up, opening the throat, and allowing them to breathe again. These awakenings are brief and typically not remembered the next morning. Longer apneas may cause the sufferer to fully awaken to a frightening feeling of choking. This pattern can occur hundreds of times per night, interrupting the body’s normal sleep cycle and preventing the deep, restorative sleep our bodies need.
Some of the short-term consequences of sleep apnea are excessive daytime sleepiness, lack of energy, poor concentration, irritability, slowed reflexes, and an increased risk of accidents.
Additional major health risks associated with sleep apnea include:
High blood pressure
Why is Treating Sleep Apnea Essential?
Sleep apnea is more than just a disruptive sleep pattern. If left untreated, this condition can have long-term implications for an individual's overall health and well-being.
With advancements in medical research, we now understand that sleep apnea can be a contributing factor to various other health issues if left unchecked.
Heart and Vascular Complications
It's been discovered that untreated sleep apnea can put patients at risk for cardiovascular problems. From high blood pressure to heart attacks, frequent waking episodes at night can strain the heart and vascular system. Moreover, oxygen level fluctuation can lead to potential heart arrhythmias.
Mental Health Impacts
Prolonged effects of sleep apnea may contribute to mood changes. Those suffering from this sleep disorder have reported feelings of depression, anxiety, and increased stress. Quality sleep is essential for mental well-being, and without it, cognitive functions can deteriorate over time.
Worsening of Existing Conditions
Patients who already suffer from conditions like asthma or type 2 diabetes can experience worsening symptoms due to untreated sleep apnea. Furthermore, sleep apnea can become a factor in metabolic syndrome and complications with medications and surgeries.
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Given these potential threats to one's health, it's no wonder the Sleep Center of Littleton is dedicated to providing comprehensive solutions to treat sleep apnea. Dr. Froning and the team believe that awareness and timely intervention can bring about transformative changes in the lives of those suffering from sleep disorders. If you’re interested in learning more about sleep apnea and our CPAP alternative treatments, contact us today.
What Our Patients Are Saying
Exceptional with the attention.
"Dr. Froning and the rest of the Sleep Center of Littleton team were exceptional with the attention and information I received during all of the appointments. I have experienced great benefits with the device and am getting better quality of sleep and decreased episodes of waking up at night."
- Gabriela Guzman
Ten out of ten stars!
"The people (Dr Froning, Alicia, Sarah, Lamar) are all outstanding! It is always a pleasure to see them or talk on the phone. I will HIGHLY recommend The Sleep Center to anyone thinking of going there. Ten out of ten stars!"
- Barb Loux
The team here was amazing.
"The team here was amazing, I’m so glad I got this device, Lamar was so helpful with everything and explained everything very well,I would definitely recommend them, this device saved my life."
- Jose Luna