What Causes Sleep Apnea?
A serious sleep disorder, sleep apnea occurs when breathing stops repeatedly and then starts again during the night. If you snore and feel unrested following a full night’s rest, you may be suffering from sleep apnea without even knowing it. The primary forms of sleep apnea include the following:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This is the most common sleep apnea type and it occurs when your throat muscles become excessively relaxed.
- Central Sleep Apnea: This occurs when the brain does not transmit proper signals to muscles responsible for controlling breathing during sleep.
- Treatment-Emergent Central Sleep Apnea: Also called complex or mixed sleep apnea, this occurs when an individual has both central and obstructive sleep apnea.
If you suspect that you may have some kind of sleep apnea, you can consult with Dr. Arthur Katz of Munster, IN, Crown Point, IN, and Olympia Fields, IL.
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
The muscles at the rear end of the throat support your tonsils, uvula, soft palate, and the sidewalls of your tongue and throat. For those with obstructive sleep apnea, these muscles relax so much that the airway closes or narrows during a night's rest. You won’t be able to obtain enough air, which could reduce your blood oxygen levels.
Consequently, the brain will sense this reduced breathing capacity and will wake you up so that your airway can reopen. This awakening, however, is typically so brief and abrupt that you may not even remember it. You might gasp, choke, or snort before repeating this pattern up to more than 30 times per hour, all through the night, impairing your ability to get truly restful and restorative sleep.
What Causes Central Sleep Apnea?
This form of sleep apnea happens when the brain can’t send proper signals to the breathing muscles, stopping your breathing for a short time. You may wake up with shortness of breath and sweaty and may have trouble staying asleep and/or going back to sleep.
When to Visit Your ENT Doctor
Loud snoring could signal potentially serious health issues, but do note that not all people with sleep apnea snore. Visit your ENT doctor in Munster, Crown Point, or Olympia Fields if you experience any of the sleep apnea symptoms indicated above. The right treatment could relieve your symptoms and help keep complications such as a heart attack or stroke at bay.
Need More Details on Sleep Apnea? We Can Help
Reach out to us here at Arthur H. Katz, MD, to set your appointment with Dr. Arthur Katz. Dial (219) 934-9396 to reach our Munster, IN, office, (219) 769-8441 to reach our Crown Point, IN, office, and (708) 747-6900 to reach our Olympia Fields, IL, office.