Sleep Apnea - Baton Rouge, LA

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a Serious Condition

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing is interrupted while asleep. People with undiagnosed sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping, sometimes hundreds of times. This is a dangerous condition because it means that the body and the brain may not get enough oxygen.

If left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk for heart failure and stroke. The ongoing state of fatigue caused by sleep apnea may lead to problems at school or work as well as danger when driving or operating heavy machinery. Sleep apnea can also cause complications with medications or surgery.

If you have any of the signs of sleep apnea, treatment may be indicated right away.

Risk factors for sleep apnea

Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Male gender
  • Being overweight
  • Over the age of 40
  • Having a large neck size, that of 17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women
  • Having large tonsils, large tongue, or small jaw bone
  • A familial history of sleep apnea cases

Do you have sleep apnea?

There are two different types of sleep apnea. The first and most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This occurs when the soft tissues in the back of your throat collapse, blocking your airways while you sleep. OSA can be treated with a sleep apnea mouth piece or other snoring treatments. The second type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea (CSA). This occurs due to a problem in your respiratory control center, preventing your brain from sending signals to your muscles to breathe.

Sleep apnea treatments vary depending on the severity of each patient’s case and the type of apnea involved. Basic treatments may simply be behavioral and include losing weight, smoking cessation, or sleeping on the side rather than the back. If basic sleep apnea treatments fail to work, however, oral devices can be used to position the mouth in such a way that it prevents throat blockage. In severe cases, surgery is often the best option for sleep apnea treatment.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

You could suffer from sleep apnea if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Waking up with headaches
  • Snoring loudly
  • Waking up throughout the night short of breath
  • Difficulty sleeping or even insomnia
  • Extreme fatigue and drowsiness throughout the day
  • Accidentally falling asleep during the day

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Sleep apnea is a very serious condition that can have harmful effects on your health. Call us today to schedule your consultation if you are noticing any of the signs of sleep apnea.

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