Recognize sleep apnea symptoms and seek relief in San Francisco
In obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) sufferers, the muscles relax as they sleep, which allows the soft tissues in the throat to obstruct the airway, shutting off the body’s air supply. This causes the blood oxygen levels to drop and the blood pressure to spike. The brain jolts the body to wake, which causes the release of adrenaline and the heart rate to increase. Simultaneously, the brain triggers increased blood flow to the muscles, decreasing the blood flowing to the vital organs.
A dangerous cycle of events
As soon as breathing is restored, the body falls back to sleep, and the cycle begins again. This can happen 20 or more times per hour, all night long. This series of events puts tremendous stress on the heart and other organs. Yet, the sleeper is usually unaware of the events that took place, with no memory of it in the morning. It is important for people to recognize the symptoms of OSA and seek diagnosis and treatment if they are regularly experiencing any of the following:
- Chronic loud snoring with pauses in breathing
- Gasping or choking while sleeping
- Daytime fatigue or sleepiness
- Morning dry mouth, thirst, or sore throat
- Frequent morning headaches
- Focus, memory, and learning problems
- Personality changes such as depression, irritability, and lack of libido
- Insomnia or recurrent awakenings
Who is at risk for obstructive sleep apnea?
Anyone can develop OSA regardless of age, gender, or body type, but certain traits increase the risk for this condition.
- Weight – The risk for OSA increases proportionately with excess body weight
- Neck size – A large neck (over 16 inches for women and over 17 inches for men) has more tissue to block the airway
- Age – Men over 40, and women over 50, are at an increased risk for developing the condition.
- Male – Men have double the risk of having sleep apnea
- Smoking – Tobacco use increases the risk for OSA
- Family history – Whether due to common lifestyles or heredity, OSA can develop more frequently among families
In San Francisco, Dr. Leo Arellano and his team offer comfortable, effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Often, lifestyle changes and a comfortable oral appliance can bring relief for this serious condition. Call 415-881-4343 to schedule an appointment.