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What Is Sleep Apnea?

Last updated 4 years ago

There are many different types of sleep disorders, one of which is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by the cyclical stopping and starting of breathing during sleep. If you suspect you might have a sleep disorder, it’s important to visit community hospital for a sleep study as soon as possible. Without treatment, sleep apnea has the potential to result in serious complications, even death. Read on to learn more about sleep apnea, including signs of sleep apnea and treatment.

Causes and Risk Factors

The relaxation of the muscles in the back of the throat is the underlying cause of obstructive sleep apnea. This triggers the narrowing or closure of the airway, which prevents you from breathing while sleeping. When the brain senses the lack of oxygen, it sends a signal to wake you up briefly to enable the airway to reopen. Most people with sleep apnea don’t even realize they are periodically waking up during the night. Certain patients have a higher risk of sleep apnea, including those who are overweight or obese, those who smoke, and those who drink alcohol.

Signs and Symptoms

One of the most noticeable signs of sleep apnea is loud snoring during the night, followed by gasping or snorting upon waking. You’re likely to notice that you feel excessively tired during the day and that you wake up with a headache or dry mouth.

Treatment Options

The sleep disorder specialist at your local hospital can help you learn about treatment options. For those with mild sleep apnea, lifestyle changes can significantly improve the condition. For example, you may be advised to quit smoking or lose weight. Other people might benefit from oral appliances, surgery, or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

The team of sleep disorder specialists at Englewood Community Hospital goes the extra mile to ensure that each patient at our hospital experiences a comfortable and relaxed sleep study. If you live in the Englewood, Venice, or Northport, FL areas, you can explore our website to learn more about sleep apnea and its treatments. Or call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (888) 658-1598 to speak with a registered nurse.


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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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