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Sleep Apnea Risks

Sleep Apnea RisksSnoring affects about a third of all people, but while it is common, it is not necessarily normal. In fact, it can be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a sleep disorder that is characterized by pauses in breathing. When you sleep, the muscles in your body, including those around your airway, relax. This is normal, and your airway is designed to stay open, in spite of the relaxed muscles. However, those with sleep apnea can suffer a partially or completely obstructed airway when the tissues around the throat or the tongue collapse over the breathing passages.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

About nine percent of men and four percent of women are believed to have sleep apnea. Recognizing the symptoms of this common problem can ensure you get the treatment you need. Symptoms of sleep apnea can include:

• Loud, chronic snoring
• Difficulty concentrating
• Irritability
• Depression
• Mood swings
• Learning difficulties
• Waking with a dry mouth or a sore throat
• Daytime sleepiness

If you have high blood pressure, a woman with a neck that is larger than sixteen inches, a man with a neck that is larger than seventeen inches, or are overweight, you may be at a higher risk of sleep apnea.

Health Consequences of Sleep Apnea

Symptoms of sleep apnea should be evaluated by an experienced sleep apnea doctor, such as Dr. Radfar. OSA does not get better on its own. Without treatment, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to serious, life-threatening health complications. Those with OSA are more than three times as likely to suffer from heart disease, and four times as likely to have a stroke as those with healthy sleep patterns. Sleep apnea can also increase your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and depression. More than one hundred people die every day in the U.S. due to sleep apnea-related health problems.

Contact us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Radfar.