Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, in which a person stops breathing during the night. It’s also a treatable condition at Future of Dentistry.
The most common type is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. With OSA, soft tissue in the back of the throat relaxes during sleep, blocking the sleeper’s airway. It can lead to snoring or a “startle-awake,” and it can occur repeatedly through the night.
There are two other types:
- Central Sleep Apnea, where the brain doesn’t properly communicate with the muscles that control breathing
- Complex Sleep Apnea, a combination of the first two.
Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea. But not everyone who snores has apnea, and not everyone with sleep apnea snores.
Why Is Sleep Apnea So Dangerous?
When the brain is deprived of oxygen, serious problems can occur. Sleep apnea sufferers are at risk for heart problems including high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. They are also at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
One of the most common problems is daytime fatigue. This can be debilitating. Untreated sleep apnea lowers the quality of life.