A sleep disorder that affects heart health.
If you wake up tired or find it difficult to stay alert during the day, you might have sleep apnea. This condition affects your breathing while you sleep, and if left untreated, it can lead to other serious medical issues.
Snoring doesn’t always indicate sleep apnea, though it’s a potential symptom. People with sleep apnea often wake up feeling unrested, have morning headaches, or experience difficulty focusing during the day. They may also gasp for air or stop breathing during the night, usually without even being aware of it.
In addition to these symptoms, sleep apnea can lead to hypertension, chronic inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. That’s why the diagnosis and treatment of this condition are so important.
Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of this disorder, causes your throat muscles to relax so much during sleep that your airway partly collapses, interfering with your ability to breathe. If you can’t get enough air, or your airway closes completely, you will wake up briefly so that your airway reopens. This brief waking may be accompanied by snoring, gasping, or choking, and it may happen dozens of times each night.
You probably won’t be aware of these brief events, but over the course of a night, they can prevent you from getting the restful sleep your body needs. This interference with your breathing also means your organs may not be getting enough oxygen. Sleep apnea can lead to inflammation, raise your blood pressure, and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
If you think you might have sleep apnea, the first step is to undergo a sleep study. We believe testing under real-life circumstances provides the most valuable information, so we will coordinate with you on a sleep study you can do at home.
Depending on the type of sleep apnea and its severity, several treatment options may be available. Changing your sleep positioning or wearing an oral appliance may be sufficient. Other cases may require a CPAP machine or surgery.
Although treating sleep apnea is important in order to prevent other conditions, such as hypertension and heart attacks, we will also help you address the root cause of your sleep apnea. By working with you on small, sustainable lifestyle changes, we can help you improve the quality of your sleep and increase your overall well-being.