Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
By Winchester Neurological Consultants
August 03, 2020
Category: Sleep Disorders
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

You're not sleeping well and wondering if you have sleep apnea. Numerous Americans do--22 million, in fact--but many go untreated and suffer poor rest patterns, depression, difficult interpersonal relationships, and more. At Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester VA, your board-certified neurologists test for sleep apnea and help with treatments proven to improve sleep patterns and overall health.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by extremely loud snoring, sudden awakening, and several episodes of breathing cessation during the night. Men 40 and older seem more prone to this diagnosis as do people who are obese, have large neck circumferences, smoke cigarettes, or drink too much alcohol. Sleep apnea falls into three categories:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, in which the tongue and muscles at the back of the throat collapse and block the airway
  • Central Sleep Apnea, or CSA, in which the respiratory system and the brain do not communicate properly
  • Mixed Sleep Apnea, which combines characteristics of OSA and CSA

All kinds of sleep apnea result in foggy thinking, fatigue, depression, dry mouth, memory issues, irritability, and more. Additionally, sleep apnea contributes to:

  • Diabetes (which develops from insulin resistance, reports Healthline)
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Dementia
  • High cholesterol levels and increased liver enzymes

If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your Winchester VA neurologist right away.

Get diagnosed

At Winchester Neurological Consultants, your board-certified neurologist will review your symptoms and as needed, and perform polysomnography. These monitored studies unravel the complexities of your sleep patterns and pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.

Your physician may prescribe a set of individualized therapies to reduce your snoring and your apneic episodes. Strategies include:

  • Losing weight
  • Avoiding alcohol and heavy meals before sleeping
  • Sleeping on your side instead of your back
  • Using CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, which opens your airway with a steady stream of air delivered through a facial mask
  • Using oral appliance therapy, customized guards which reposition the bottom jaw and keep the airway open

We want to help

Your neurologists in Winchester VA understand that a good night's sleep is critical to your systemic health and overall well-being. If you or a family member notice your poor sleep pattern and snoring, please contact Winchester Neurological Consultants for a personal consultation on sleep apnea. Don't wait. Phone (540) 667-1828.

Comments: