If you think you or someone you care about has sleep apnea, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. The earlier you seek treatment, the better, as the condition can cause significant complications that, in some cases, can be fatal if left unattended.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a severe condition in which your breathing repeatedly stops and resumes while you sleep. The most prevalent type is obstructive sleep apnea, when your throat muscles continuously relax and restrict your airways while you sleep. Once the soft tissues in your throat, like your tongue and soft palate, briefly relax, your airway narrows or closes and your breathing is temporarily cut off.
People with untreated sleep apnea sometimes cease breathing hundreds of times throughout the night. However, sleep apnea should be treated, since it can progress to more severe problems.
What Symptoms of Sleep Apnea Will I Notice?
It can be challenging to tell if you have sleep apnea because the symptoms appear during sleep. However, a sleep partner may be able to spot signs for you. Here are a few symptoms to look out for:
- Consistently stopping and resuming breathing at night
- Waking up frequently during the night
- Sometimes feeling as though one is choking or gasping
- Regularly feeling exhausted even after appearing to sleep well
- Frequent loud snoring at night
- Sleeping restlessly
- Decreased sex drive
- Regular insomnia
What Are the Consequences of Not Treating Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea may not seem like a significant concern to some people because their symptoms do not seem severe. However, sleep apnea and its symptoms can get worse and cause severe health and behavior problems, such as:
- Hyperactivity, developmental problems and learning difficulties in children
- Memory issues
- A worsening of ADHD
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure, heart attack and heart disease
- Job impairment and falling asleep while driving
Some of the problems mentioned above can significantly impact children and lead to complications later in life. Other issues, such as those that affect the heart, can be fatal. Because of this, it is critical to start treatment as soon as you notice symptoms.
Schedule An Appointment for Sleep Apnea Treatment
Treatments for sleep apnea might include sleep and lifestyle changes, as well as medical devices to prevent apnea episodes. To learn more about sleep apnea and what you can do about it, contact the Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment Center today to schedule an appointment.
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