What Is Sleep Apnea? Cumming

The Details Behind Your Inability to Sleep

Man with sleep apnea sitting up in bed and pinching the bridge of his nose

If you are someone who learns that you have sleep apnea, consider yourself lucky. While this might seem like an odd statement, the reality is that the majority of individuals who suffer from sleep apnea don’t even know they have it, so they continue to go undiagnosed and are unable to get the care they need. With sleep apnea comes chronic fatigue, loud snoring, irritability, lack of focus, and even more serious health-related conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. Our team at Sleep Forsyth wants to reduce your risk, which is why Dr. Bragg is here to provide a more thorough explanation of sleep apnea in Cumming and what it really is.

Why Choose Sleep Forsyth for Sleep Apnea Treatment?

  • Dr. Bragg is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • We Are Credentialed to File Medical Insurance Claims
  • Streamlined Process for Greater Convenience & Ease

The Basics of Sleep Apnea

Man sleeping on his back

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that makes it difficult for a person to achieve a full night of uninterrupted sleep. It occurs when their breathing stops for 10 or more seconds at a time. This can happen once or more than one hundred times each night. When ceased breathing occurs, the body is jolted awake, oftentimes with the individual gasping or choking on air.

This continuous problem, which is commonly known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), leads to serious symptoms over time, making it nearly impossible for a person to experience a good quality of life because of chronic fatigue. When the body and brain cannot complete a full sleep cycle each night, its repercussions extend to the following day. The rollercoaster many people experience as a result of sleep apnea can have devastating consequences on their cardiovascular system and more.

Learn More About Obstructive Sleep Apnea

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Illustrated of person sleeping on their back with their airway blocked

Sleep apnea can develop for many different reasons; however, there are two common types that individuals must be aware of: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). OSA often deals with narrow or blocked airways, while CSA is often the cause of a neurological problem that makes it difficult for the body to breathe. No matter the type a person is suffering from, their sleep position, weight, lifestyle habits, and family history can play a role in whether they will develop sleep apnea.

Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Woman in bed covering her ears next to snoring man

Not all sleep apnea symptoms are readily identifiable, especially since many can be attributed to other potential problems. However, if you or your partner notice that one or more of the following are becoming a regular part of your daily life, consider calling our office for help:

  • Loud/chronic snoring
  • Silent pauses in breathing
  • Choking or gasping
  • Waking in the morning feeling unrefreshed
  • Problems with memory and/or concentration
  • Being tired during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • Dry mouth or sore throat/hoarseness in the morning
  • Behavior/mood swings
  • Waking up frequently at night to go to the bathroom
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Clenching or grinding at night
  • Impotence

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Man dozing off while sitting in drivers seat of car

If you want to enjoy a healthier life, quality sleep is essential. It can help or hinder your physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral health. Without proper treatment for sleep apnea, you run the risk of developing one or more of the following issues:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Sexual dysfunction

The longer these symptoms last without proper treatment, you may find that you spend thousands of dollars at the doctor’s office on ineffective solutions. Also, there is a greater chance of premature death.

How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Man sleeping on his side

A sleep study with a sleep clinic (also called a polysomnogram) is the only definitive way to tell whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea, and how severe that apnea might be. Sleep studies can be conducted in a sleep laboratory or at home using a sleep study device such as the Nightowl or WatchPat. In either case, the tests are completely painless, and they may have you complete two nights.

Learn More About Sleep Testing

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Man placing an oral appliance tray over his teeth

There are several ways for sleep apnea to be treated, one of the most common being CPAP (continuous positive airway treatment) therapy. Pushing air through a mask that is worn over the nose and/or mouth works to keep the airway open. Custom oral appliances are designed to be comfortable, portable, and easy to use. Countless patients are achieving better sleep with these simple yet effective oral devices! There are also surgical options that might be recommended.

Learn More About Oral Appliances

Benefits of Sleep Apnea Treatment

Man carrying his young daughter on his back

Sleep apnea may happen while you’re sleeping, but the benefits of treatment last all day. With treatment, you’ll find that you have more energy. You will be less likely to fall asleep during the day at work, in the car, or in front of the TV. Your health will improve. You will find that you are more likely to exercise. Your lung capacity may improve. You’ll find you’re less tempted by junk food, and you’ll find it’s easier to lose weight. You’ll also find you’re less irritable and better able to enjoy life.

And when it is time to go to sleep, you’ll love going to bed with your partner. Both of you will be able to sleep through the night with no elbows thrown!