If you are experiencing symptoms such as loud snoring, headaches, waking up at night short of breath, or insomnia, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can occur at any age and in both males and females. It can be dangerous if left untreated because it can increase your risk for heart failure. Dr. Ari Moskowitz offers several treatment options for sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Individuals with sleep apnea stop breathing while sleeping, sometimes hundreds of times per night. During this time, air is not entering the lungs and sometimes lasts for a minute or longer. Normal breathing is the passage of air through the nose, allowing oxygen to enter the lungs properly. When you are awake, the muscles in the back of your throat hold your airway open. When asleep, these muscles relax, but the airway remains open for air travel. In those who suffer from sleep apnea, the upper airway is blocked, inhibiting adequate air flow, causing oxygen levels to drop in both the brain and the blood.
Common Symptoms & Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea
Not being able to breathe properly can have short term and long term effects on your health, so it is imperative to get treatment as soon as the problem is detected. Some of the warning signs of sleep apnea include:
- Loud snoring
- Extreme drowsiness throughout the day
- Waking up short of breath
- Headaches in the morning
Factors That Increase the Risk of Sleep Apnea
Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea than women.
Sleep apnea occurs more frequently in adults 40 years of age or older.
Having a large or thick neck can increase sleep apnea risk.
Excess weight around the upper airway can constrict breathing.
Difficulty breathing through the nose can contribute.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Those who smoke are three times more likely to have sleep apnea.
You may be at an increased risk if family members also have sleep apnea.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Dr. Moskowitz will determine what type of sleep apnea treatment is most appropriate for you during your consultation. Your treatment plan may include lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking or losing weight, wearing an oral device that opens up the airways, or surgery.
“The entire staff at Baltimore Periodontics is exemplary. They are warm and friendly as well as highly professional in all aspects. Do not hesitate to go here (even if you have a dental phobia) as they go above and beyond to make certain you are comfortable and at ease!”
Pamela C. – June 2019
Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is classified as a serious medical problem and can increase you risk of heart failure and stroke if left untreated. Many people with sleep apnea experience bouts of fatigue and other health issues related to a lack of sleep. In some cases, sleep apnea can cause complications with certain medications you are taking. Other dangers of untreated sleep apnea include the following:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Problems
- Daytime Fatigue
- Surgical Complications
- Liver Problems
- Chronic Headaches
- Memory Problems
Schedule A Consultation
If you or someone you know could be suffering from sleep apnea, Dr. Moskowitz may be able to provide a treatment for you. Contact us at (410) 744-6088 to schedule a consultation at our Catonsville office today. Our practice serves Catonsville, Baltimore and surrounding areas in Maryland.