Sleep Apnea

What Are Often The Main Reasons for Sleep Apnea

»Posted by on May 16, 2019 in Sleep Apnea | 0 comments

Avi Weisfogel dds
In case you have lost count of how often you have suffered from sleepless nights, interrupted sleep, or poor-quality sleep, then you’re certainly not alone.

Some of the common symptoms of sleep disorders include: lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, memory loss and forgetfulness, diminished productivity and performance at work or school, depression, lack of energy, mood disturbances (e.g. irritability, anger, impulsive actions, etc.), irregular breathing, fatigued driving, and an overall decreased quality of life.

Common Sleep Disorders

According to Dr. Avi Weisfogel, the founder and owner of the International Academy of Sleep (IAOS), there are over 70 recognized forms of sleeping disorders, and among the most common are sleep apnea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome, respectively.

Insomnia

About 10% of adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic insomnia, which is a debilitating illness that is characterized by: difficulty falling asleep at night, often waking up in the middle of the night and having problems falling back asleep, and frequently waking up significantly earlier than desired or planned. Normally, chronic insomnia refers to situations where insomnia continues for at least three weeks, and acute insomnia refers to shorter durations. Dr. Avi Weisfogel notes that many men and women switch between bouts of acute and chronic insomnia. He also adds that the condition may temporarily alleviate for weeks or months at a stretch before returning.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea (formally called obstructive sleep apnea or OSA) affects about 20 million people in the U.S. However, Dr. Avi Weisfogel notes that as many as 90 percent of these people are living with undiagnosed and therefore untreated sleep apnea, either because they don’t know that they have this debilitating and potentially fatal condition, or they don’t realize that it is a serious problem that has to be evaluated by a health care professional.

Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the throat relax during sleep and block the upper respiratory system. A partial blockage typically causes snoring, while a full blockage causes an individual to stop breathing for several seconds during the evening. This forced the brain to awaken and causes violent gasping and hacking, to be able to clear the airway and allow oxygen to enter the lungs.

As noted above, many people who undergo this procedure on a regular basis — and it may happen several times a night — are unaware that it is happening. Therefore, upon awakening they typically feel tired and irritable, but do not understand why (or they attribute it to the wrong root cause, like something they ate or an argument, they had the night before). Furthermore, the burden placed on the respiratory system puts a strain on the heart, which can lead to heart attack, heart arrhythmia, heart failure, and other serious and potentially fatal cardiological issues.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a common neurological disorder that compels individuals to constantly move their legs, feet, and possibly other body parts during sleep. The compulsion is triggered by senses such as itching, aching, burning, throbbing and pulsing. Understandably, the constant need to shift position wreaks havoc on sleep quality. As with sleep apnea, lots of folks who suffer from restless leg syndrome are unaware that they have a clinical condition for which treatment and drugs are available. Dietary and lifestyle changes may also alleviate or eliminate symptoms.

Getting Help

If you know or believe that you are suffering from one of these or any other sleep disorders, then speak with your primary care doctor. A growing number of dentists are also offering their patients sleep apnea assessments. Adds Dr. Avi Weisfogel: it’s a mistake for people to assume that sleep disorders correct themselves over time, or that poor excellent sleep is something that they need to learn to live with and accept. Neither of them are true. The problem is serious, and help is available.

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