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What is Sleep Apnea? – Guilderland, NY

Get the Information You Need for Better Sleep

It is estimated that over 18 million people are affected by sleep apnea in the US alone, making it one of the most common sleep conditions. However, it’s also estimated that around 80% of the cases go untreated because it occurs at night. If you’re wondering about what sleep apnea is and how to recognize it, you’re in the right place. Dr. Oshins wants to make it easy for his patients to have access to important health and sleeping information. Read on to learn more about what exactly sleep apnea is as well as some additional facts about this common condition.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Woman with sleep apnea who needs sleep apnea dentist tired at work

Sleep apnea occurs when a person experiences interrupted breathing during sleep. There are different types of sleep apnea, but the most common is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the type that we treat at our office. This happens when the throat and/or tongue muscles relax so much that it partially blocks your airway, causing cessations in breathing. The problem is that this interrupted breathing can happen sometimes hundreds of times at night, leading to difficulty sleeping.

Another type of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea (CSA), which is a neurological condition where the brain can’t communicate with the body properly. Essentially, the brain stops sending your body the signal to breathe during sleep. There is also a third type of sleep apnea called complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of OSA and CSA.

Common Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea

Man sleeping in bed with white sheets

Sleep apnea is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as a different condition, which is why it’s important to be able to recognize these common symptoms:

  • Excessive daytime drowsiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up gasping for breath
  • Morning headaches
  • Sore throat and dry mouth
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression or mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Impotence

If you notice any of these warning signs, contact us to request an appointment right away!

Interesting Sleep/Sleep Apnea Facts

Woman who can’t sleep at 3:41am

  1. In general, doctors believe that the average healthy adult should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to feel well rested.
  2. Chronic sleep deprivation can cause memory loss because it prevents the brain from being able to organize the information you consumed at the end of the day.
  3. Sleep apnea can make it more difficult to lose weight and keep it off.
  4. Many people who are affected by sleep apnea mistake it for insomnia because of their inability to sleep. In reality, they’re being woken by the breathing cessations.
  5. While snoring is one of the most common signs of sleep apnea, not all people who snore suffer from the condition.
  6. Multiple studies show that driving while drowsy is actually more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.
  7. Nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism) can also be a sign of sleep apnea.
  8. A larger neck circumference will increase your risk of sleep apnea.
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