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It’s Not Just Snoring: The Serious Health Effects of Sleep Apnea

It’s Not Just Snoring: The Serious Health Effects of Sleep Apnea

According to the American Medical Association, about 30 million Americans have sleep apnea, but only about 6 million receive a diagnosis.

At Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep, we specialize in sleep studies and other diagnostic services to accurately diagnose and treat sleep apnea. Testing ensures you get the proper treatment to reduce your risk of potentially life-threatening complications this sleep disorder can cause.

Our sleep specialists, Himanshu Chandarana, MD, and Ashok Tyagi, DO, CPE, use advanced testing and treatment technologies to improve your quality of sleep and your quality of life.

What to know about sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects your breathing during sleep. When you have sleep apnea, you may frequently wake up at night gasping for breath. You might also be prone to snoring loudly and disrupting the sleep of others.

These symptoms occur with all three types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea describes breathing issues that result from collapsed airway tissues. When you sleep, the tissues at the back of your throat can relax too much and interfere with oxygen moving into and out of your body.

Excess or enlarged throat tissues, smoking, obesity, and aging are all risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type.

Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea causes snoring and other sleep disruptions when there’s an issue with the signals your brain sends to your breathing muscles.

Complex sleep apnea

Complex sleep apnea is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea conditions.

The consequences of untreated sleep apnea

Mild to moderate sleep apnea can cause frequent sleep disruptions that lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, increased risk of accidents, and difficulties making decisions.

When you have obstructive sleep apnea, the disorder can lead to more serious health complications that require ongoing care. These include:

Cardiovascular disease

Sleep apnea causes sudden drops in your blood oxygen levels that can lead to an abnormal heart rhythm and hypertension (high blood pressure). In turn, hypertension can increase your risk of stroke, heart failure, and heart attack.

Glaucoma

Some people with obstructive sleep apnea may develop glaucoma and other eye issues that lower their vision quality.

Surgical complications

If you need surgery for another health condition, having sleep apnea can make your surgery riskier. Obstructive sleep apnea can negatively affect your breathing under anesthesia and cause post-surgical complications.

Don’t delay a sleep apnea evaluation

If your partner complains about your snoring or you experience excessive sleepiness, schedule a diagnostic consultation with our sleep specialists.

Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep offers in-lab sleep studies to monitor your breathing, heart rate, and other vital signs while you sleep. Your test results help Dr. Chandarana and Dr. Tyagi identify the type of sleep apnea you have so they can recommend the appropriate treatment.

We offer several therapies to improve your breathing during sleep, including oral appliances and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. Our physicians can also recommend lifestyle and diet changes to improve your sleep quality.

Call the Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep office in St. Petersburg, Florida, today to schedule a sleep apnea evaluation.

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