Sleep apnea is a disorder that disrupts a person’s ability to breath while they sleep. The three main types of sleep apnea are:
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and usually occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway during sleep.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
Central sleep apnea is a neurological disorder in which the brain “forgets” to tell the lungs to breathe. There are many underlaying triggers for this form of apnea, including arthritis, encephalitis, and Parkinson's disease.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
This sleep apnea is a combination of both Obstructive and Central sleep apnea.
Waking up “gasping” for breath
Waking up with headaches
Sore throat upon waking
Fatigue during the day despite sleeping for many hours
Irritability and moodiness
Anyone of any age can exhibit symptoms of sleep apnea. However, there are a few factors that may increase your risk:
Large neck and soft tissues in the mouth
If sleep apnea is not properly treated, it can lead to serious and more dangerous medical issues like heart attack or stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, depression and even asphyxiation.
Preventing Obstructive Sleep Apnea
A healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, exercise, and a regular sleep schedule may reduce your risk of being affected by sleep apnea. Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and other sedatives at night, that could cause the soft tissues to relax the throat. Try sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your back settles the soft tissue in a way that is easier for it to collapse and restrict breathing. If you are overweight, try to lose weight to remove stress from the neck and heart.
Dr. Lipe understands his patients have unique needs. He works hard to make sure that help is available for you to live the healthiest life possible. There are many ways to help prevent an apnea episode from occurring. Some devices include mouth guards, CPAP machines, and tongue stabilizing devices.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call (303) 744-0600.
In need of immediate care?
Dr. Lipe provides emergency phone consultation services after working hours and on weekends. Call (303) 744-0600