Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Symptoms:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Apnea (pauses in breathing during sleep)
  • High blood pressure
  • abrupt awakening with gasping & choking
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Awakening with headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased libido & sexual dysfunction
  • Depression & irritability
  • Nighttime sweating
  • Frequent nighttime urination or bedwetting

Risk Factors

  • Excessive weight
  • Narrowed airway (palate problems, enlarged tonsils, enlarged adenoids)
  • Thick neck
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Family history of sleep apnea

Cardiovascular Complications

  • High blood pressure & resistant HBP
  • Cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
  • Cardiovascular events (heart attack)
  • Heart failure
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the vein)
  • Atrial Fibrillation & other heart arrhythmias
  • Sudden death

Other Complications

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Obesity & difficulty losing weight
  • Low testosterone
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Increased auto accidents
  • Increased complications during & following surgery
  • Increased medication side effects, especially medications that cause sedation
  • Glaucoma
  • Memory loss
  • Concentration difficulties

Treatment

  • Lose weight if overweight
  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Avoid sedating medications, including sleeping pills
  • Sleep on your side if symptoms are mild
  • Treat nasal congestion
  • Use an oral appliance if symptoms are mild
  • Surgery if indicated
  • CPAP machine (Gold standard)

If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, discuss them with your doctor to not only improve the way you feel, but to improve your overall health and reduce your risk of disability and early death.

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