Here at York Dental Sleep Therapy, we have many patients that want to know what causes their sleep apnea. The simple answer is that when you are awake your throat muscles are engaged which keeps your airway firmly open so air can adequately flow into your lungs. However, when you sleep, these muscles relax significantly, which narrows your throat.
Normally, this temporary narrowing of your throat does not prevent air from flowing into your lungs. But if you have sleep apnea, your airway can become blocked. Here are some of the factors that can cause your throat to narrow during sleep:
When patients suffer from sleep apnea, not enough air flows into their lungs during sleep. As a result, patients often snore loudly, startle awake, and have drops in blood oxygen levels. If the blood oxygen levels drop to a dangerous level, it can trigger your brain to disturb your sleep by waking you up. When you wake up, normal breathing starts again, usually with a choking sound or a loud snort.
So what happens if this pattern continues? Regular drops in blood oxygen levels and poor sleep quality can trigger your body to release stress hormones. These hormones can raise your heart rate and blood pressure which then increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and irregular heartbeats. Over time, stress hormones can also increase your risk for heart failure. Additionally, untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk for obesity and diabetes.
Here are some of lifestyle factors that can make sleep apnea worse:
Fortunately, many of these factors can easily be controlled. Contact your doctor or sleep apnea specialist for more tips on how to help reduce or relieve your sleep apnea symptoms.
The first step for patients that believe they are suffering from sleep apnea is to get tested and diagnosed. A proper diagnosis can help your doctor and Dr. Bell come up with the best treatment plan for your overall health and symptoms. Accordingly, it is extremely important to seek diagnosis as soon as possible so that you can get back on track to a healthy and happy lifestyle.
If you have been suffering from sleep apnea, you know how challenging a day with poor sleep can be. Stop suffering and get the treatment you need. Our staff is trained, experienced, and skilled at helping patients with a variety of sleep apnea symptoms. In just a few short office visits, we can provide the diagnosis that you need to get treatment and start sleeping better as soon as possible. Contact us now if you have been referred by your doctor, and would like more information about testing, diagnosis, treatment, or payment options.
Are you suffering from a lack of good quality sleep? Do you find yourself waking up multiple times every night? If so, you could be dealing with symptoms from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes patients to lose valuable sleep and could also negatively impact health. Don’t wait to get treatment. If you live in the Hallam, PA area, come see Dr. Bell to help restore healthy and restful sleep.
450 W Market St
Hallam, PA 17406
Monday: 8AM – 5PM
Tuesday: 8AM – 5PM
Wednesday: 10AM - 7PM
Thursday: 7:30AM – 4:30PM