Are you experiencing daytime drowsiness, even after you seem to have gotten a full night of sleep? If so, sleep apnea could be to blame. This common condition can be difficult to diagnose unless a sleeping partner alerts you to your symptoms, but it’s important to take it seriously if you suspect you could be at risk, as this seemingly benign condition can actually be very serious. At Englewood Community Hospital, we offer sleep studies to diagnose a range of disorders, including sleep apnea. Here are the facts you need to know about this sleep disorder.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the sufferer temporarily stops breathing while asleep. With the most common form of sleep apnea—obstructive sleep apnea—the airways are blocked as you relax in deep sleep, cutting off the air supply. As a result, you awake with gasp or loud snore before falling back to sleep. This cycle can repeat more than 30 times per hour while you’re sleeping, but because each waking period is so brief, you won’t have any memory of it. Most people find out they have symptoms of sleep apnea when their sleeping partner complains about their snoring or tells them that they seem to be gasping for air in their sleep.
What Are The Risks?
The disruption to your sleep pattern caused by sleep apnea can trigger many complications, including weight gain, heart disease, and depression. Because of the associated fatigue, people with sleep apnea are at greater risk of being involved in car accidents and may experience difficulties at work.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
In most cases, sleep apnea is treated with C-PAP therapy, which helps keep the airways open during sleep. Because obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea, controlling your weight can also help reduce your symptoms.
If you’re struggling to get the rest you need, ask for a referral to Englewood Community Hospital for a sleep study. Our sleep lab services are just one aspect of the quality healthcare we provide to our Northwood, FL community. We also offer cardiac care, an emergency room, wound care, and much more. For a referral to a physician, call us at (888) 658-1598.