Do You Suffer From Sleep Apnea?
Do you wake up frequently during the night? Does your partner comment on your unusual snoring? Do find yourself dosing off during the day? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be one of the millions of Americans suffering from sleep apnea. Here in Phoenix, Dr. Gary Core specializes in helping patients regain a restful night’s sleep by treating sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is characterized by shallow breathing or pauses in breathing during sleep. The cessation of breathing can last anywhere from mere seconds to several minutes and can happen more than 30 times in one hour alone. When sufferers finally resume breathing, it is often accompanied by a choking sound or loud snort.
As a chronic condition, sleep apnea frequently disrupts the patient’s sleep. Patients with sleep apnea often sleep lightly due to the condition, quickly causing sleep deprivation. The resulting effect is extreme sleepiness during the following day.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose because most people do not realize that they stop breathing during the night. Often, it is a partner or family member that first notices the signs. Symptoms may include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia) and difficulty concentrating
- Loud snoring and pauses in breathing during sleep (witnessed by someone)
- Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
Why Treat Sleep Apnea?
While sleep apnea may sound like a mere inconvenience, the consequences of not getting enough sleep can take a large toll on your health and wellbeing. Beyond the exhaustion and headaches that sufferers often complain of, untreated sleep apnea can also lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, depression, and diabetes.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea is unique among medical conditions as the condition must be diagnosed by your doctor but may be treated by a dentist who specializes in sleep apnea. The process of determining sleep apnea consists of an evaluation of your medical and family histories, a physical examination, and a sleep study. During the physical examination, the doctor will look at the tissues of your mouth, nose, and throat. People with sleep apnea often have an enlarged uvula or soft palate.
The sleep study is a test that measures the quality of your sleep. For suspected sleep apnea patients, your doctor may recommend a home-based portable monitor or a polysomnogram, both of which monitor the amount of oxygen in your blood, heart rate, air movement through your nose, and chest movements while you breathe.
Treating Sleep Apnea in Phoenix
You don’t have to live with sleep apnea. If you suspect you may suffer from this condition, talk to your doctor today. Dr. Core can help you and your doctor coordinate treatment for your sleep apnea. Contact Core Sleep Solutions at our Phoenix location today!