Aug 28, 2014

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What Is Sleep Apnea?

People who stop breathing for a few seconds or even longer during the night are suffering from a condition called sleep apnea. Obviously sleep apnea in Stamford can easily result in a poor night’s sleep with frequent awakenings, restlessness, snoring, headaches as well as memory deficiency. Sleep apnea is caused by malfunctioning muscles or a brain that misfires and as result the throat doesn’t open in time with the lungs as they begin to expand, as a result the blood fails to acquire enough oxygen.

Although there are two reasons for sleep apnea the effects are the same. In the case of an obstruction the throat shuts when it is supposed to be open to allow the entry of air. At first very shallow breathes will manage to get through but it does not take long for the throat to shrink complexly closed and your body senses that something is preventing breathing from taking place. When oxygen is not being absorbed the brain tells you to wake up so that you can open the air passage.

The second type of sleep apnea is called “central sleep apnea” and is caused by a malfunction of the brain. The brain is responsible for regulating the automatic muscle movements that are associated with breathing such as the heartbeat and expansion of the lungs. This automatic action takes place even during deep sleep when other muscles are virtually paralyzed. If neurons do not carry the message from the brain which triggers throat and lung action, you stop breathing all-together.

Sleep apnea in Stamford is a condition that makes the sufferer irritable and always tired and often it is difficult to remember something or to fully concentrate. If you have a bed partner they can tell you if they hear snoring or coughing. Sleep apnea is one of the causes of high blood pressure which in turn increases the risk of having a stroke so one must ensure that they are getting sufficient oxygen while sleeping.

In many cases a doctor will supervise a night long observation by a neurologist or other professional who studies sleep behavior. There are ways to solve the problem, in some cases throat tissue can be removed, in other cases a dentist can fit the sufferer with a sleep apnea mouth guard which is a plastic device made by dentists that extends the lower jaw that maintains an open position in the patients throat during sleep, thus preventing the jaw from slipping back and blocking the airway.

Nearly one in eight people suffer from sleep apnea in Stamford. If you are one of them you are invited to make an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Cahn who can select and fit an oral appliance that will keep the airways open while you are sleeping.


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