Do you feel fatigue throughout the day? Do you wake suddenly in your sleep? If you answered yes you may have a medical condition know as, Sleep Apnea.
Sleep Apnea is a common medical condition and it affects more than 18 million Americans. Sleep Apnea is when an individual involuntarily stops breathing during sleep, which makes sleeping uncomfortable and difficult. Although there are certain risk factors such as age and weight, Sleep Apnea can occur in anyone. This medical issue can lead to severe fatigue, depression, and a general poor health due to lack of sleep. There are three common types of sleep apnea – central, obstructive and mixed.
Around 20% of Sleep Apnea cases are Central Sleep Apnea. Central Sleep Apnea is most common in patients suffering from other serious illnesses such as heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, brain damage, kidney failure, and more. Many times, curing or treating the serious illness will also help to treat Central Sleep Apnea. Central Sleep Apnea is not caused by a blockage, but rather the brain failing to tell the body to breathe, and the lack of oxygen causes the patient to wake up frequently. Although a patient may fall back to sleep immediately, this prevention of a full night’s sleep can cause many health issues such as depression, fatigue, and respiratory issues. Central Sleep Apnea has many of the same symptoms and results as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, but occurs in a different demographic of patients.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused by a blockage in the airway. This blockage is commonly found near the soft tissue in the back of the throat. Often, when sleeping, an individual’s tongue can rest incorrectly, preventing air from entering the airway when a breath is taken. Though Obstructive Sleep Apnea has been seen in all types of individuals, it is most common in overweight, middle-aged men that sleep on their backs. A common treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea includes various air pressures being blown through the nasal passage to clear any obstruction.
The next type of Sleep Apnea is Mixed Sleep Apnea, which is a combination of blockage and the brain signaling the individual to wake up because they are not getting enough oxygen. Usually, patients diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea are treated but not cured, discovering later that they had Mixed or Complex Sleep Apnea.
It is essential to health for an individual suffering from Sleep Apnea to receive treatment as soon as possible. Untreated Sleep Apnea can cause cardiovascular and many other issues due to the lack of oxygen going to the brain. Additionally, lack of sleep can worsen any pre-existing conditions and lower the immune system’s function.
There are many treatment options for Sleep Apnea, from non-surgical to nasal reconstructive surgery, depending on the individual case. Dr. Gocke in the Northern Virginia community can perform nasal reconstructive surgery to treat your Sleep Apnea, and help you have a more restful sleep. Please contact the office to schedule a consultation for you or someone you know that may suffer from Sleep Apnea.