Does your snoring keep your partner up at night? If it does, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. This is a condition that causes repeated pauses in your breathing while you are sleeping. In addition to snoring that can interrupt your partner’s sleep, not receiving treatment for your sleep apnea raises your risk of diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Snoring isn’t the only sign that you may have this condition. Some of the other indicators of sleep apnea include:
• Gasping for air. If you have sleep apnea, you may gasp, choke, or snort after a lapse in your normal breathing pattern occurs.
• Frequent bathroom trips. While getting up regularly throughout the night to use the bathroom is a sign of aging, it also indicates that you might have sleep apnea.
• Waking up with a headache. Do you wake up with your head throbbing in the morning? During breathing pauses, the oxygen levels in your brain decrease, which can cause pain in your head.
• Weight. If you are overweight, your chances for sleep apnea increase because the fat pads surrounding your airway narrow this space and make it more difficult to breathe.
• Exhaustion. Even if you spend eight to nine hours at night in your bed, sleep apnea interrupts your sleep and may cause you to feel tired and drowsy throughout the day.
If you believe you might have sleep apnea, make an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Anna Szmitko, to explore possible solutions.