Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing when you are asleep, which leads to bouts of coughing, choking, gasping, and snorting. The two most common types of sleep apnea are central and obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is caused by neural misfirings. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the soft tissues falling into the back of the throat as the muscles relax too much.
Dr. Jack Haney helps patients in Knoxville, TN who present signs of obstructive sleep apnea and are diagnosed with the condition. Call for an appointment at (865) 693-6886 if any of the following sleep apnea red flags sound familiar.
1. You snore loudly all night long.
Individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea may stop breathing up to 29 or more times an hour or around every two minutes. The sensation of choking causes them to suddenly and quickly inhale, leading to loud snoring and snorting.
Ironically, even if you snore loudly, you may not wake up. You may not even know that you snore. Many times, patients visit Dr. Haney after being told by a sleeping partner or roommate that their snoring is loud, raspy, and constant.
2. You wake up in the morning with a dry, sore throat.
All that snoring and gasping affects the soft tissues of your throat. Imagine how you feel when you have a cold and cough: Your throat is usually sore and scratchy. Obstructive sleep apnea sufferers routinely experience those same symptoms, even if they are not sure why. Sound like your experiences? Check your throat in the morning in the mirror: Your throat might be red and tender, too.
3. You feel like you never get any sleep.
Even though you went to bed at 10 p.m. and got up at 6 a.m., you feel as if you stayed awake all night. Why? All those obstructive sleep apnea snoring events are robbing you of the restful sleep every human requires. Without being able to achieve the recommended amounts of REM sleep, the body operates in a state of progressively worse fatigue. Over time, this can lead to more serious problems caused by significant sleep deprivation.
4. You keep forgetting things.
Is your memory getting worse and worse despite your physician telling you that you are healthy? When combined with other obstructive sleep apnea symptoms, this sign could be an indicator of the condition. Of course, occasional memory lapses happen. Still, if you feel like your memory is getting worse or putting you in danger, please talk with your dentist about undergoing a diagnosis for obstructive sleep apnea.
5. You fall asleep at work or while driving.
Dozing off at the wheel is a serious side effect of severe obstructive sleep apnea. If you keep nodding off despite drinking caffeine or trying to get enough sleep, you owe it to yourself to make an appointment. Otherwise, you could put yourself and others at harm, especially if you are driving and cannot stay awake.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment in Knoxville, TN
Dr. Haney welcomes new and existing patients to his Knoxville, TN practice who think they may have obstructive sleep apnea. A simple at-home sleep test can help diagnose this common condition. Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea may be candidates for one or more treatment options to improve their quality of sleep and life. Contact our office today for an appointment.