Sleep Apnea is a disorder of breathing during sleep and typically it is accompanied by loud snoring. Sleep Apnea consists of brief periods throughout the night in which breathing stops or they do not get enough oxygen during sleep. There are 2 major types.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common type and is due to an obstruction in the throat during sleep. Bed partners notice pauses approx. 10 to 60 seconds between loud snores. The narrowing of the upper airway can be a result of several factors including inherent physical characteristics, excess weight, and alcohol consumption before sleep.
Central Sleep Apnea – caused by a delay in the signal form the brain to breath. With both obstructive and central apnea you must wake up briefly to breathe, sometimes hundreds of times during the night. Usually there is no memory of these brief awakenings. The most common symptoms for Sleep Apnea include:
- Loud Snoring
- Waking up unrefreshed and having trouble staying awake during the day
- Waking up with headaches and/or sweating.
- Waking up during the night with the sensation of choking and gasping for air.
- Frequent trips to the bathroom during the night
- Insomnia – problem staying asleep
Sleep researchers have suggested that men are more likely to have sleep apnea than women, and that women are more likely to have sleep apnea after menopause. The use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by postmenopausal women was associated with a lower prevalence of sleep apnea in sleep laboratory tests, with the participants’ risk level slightly less than the already low frequency seen in pre-menopausal women. Postmenopausal women without HRT had a significantly higher prevalence of sleep apnea, though still not approaching that of men. HRT improves sleep in menopausal women. HRT reduces hot flashes that disturb sleep as well as improve sleep-related breathing disorders.
If you are suffering or believe you are suffering from sleep apnea and feel that conventional treatments are not working or frustrated with your present care. Sleep Apnea has many other causes and is multi-factorial in that it is influenced by a number of conditions. We can personalize your individual care, run additional tests to help control your sleep apnea and give you piece of mind.