Sleep apnea is a breathing-related sleep disorder that causes brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. These interruptions can last 10 seconds or more and can occur up to 400 times per night. Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life threatening condition that often goes unrecognized and undiagnosed. Sleep apnea occurs in both sexes and across all age groups. Not all sleep apnea is the same, a diagnosis of sleep apnea can range from mild to severe.
Sleep apnea is serious because shots of adrenaline are going into the heart 20-400 times per night to re-start your breathing. Sleep is when your body is supposed to rest, and this increased stress causes an overload for the heart, possibly leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea are obvious (snoring, etc.) while some symptoms such as loss of sex drive and irritability may be less of a signal that something is interfering with sleep. Here is a list of some of the symptoms of sleep apnea:
There are a number of factors that may put you at a higher risk for sleep apnea. Here are some things that may increase your likelihood of having it, such as:
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
Your primary care doctor may test you or send you to a sleep center for testing. The sleep center may require you to spend the night at the facility so that your sleep can be monitored by experts.
Contributing factors to Sleep Apnea/Fatigue:
Below are a few potential circumstances that increase the odds of having sleep apnea. We've included some tips as well.
We hope this was helpful. Please ask Dr. Harrington or Dr. James for any further information about sleep apena if you have questions. Have a great day and sleep well!