How Do I Know I Have Sleep Apnea?

How Do I Know I Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleeping disorder where breathing is consistently interrupted. This occurs due to human anatomy problems or because of central nervous system disconnections involving your respiratory system. But how do you know if you have sleep apnea?

This is what this article is going to uncover. There are millions of people living in the U.S that have sleep apnea and you can be one of them. Learning how to pinpoint what symptoms you may be suffering from will give you the awareness to get the help you may so desperately need to prevent further medical deterioration.

Let’s start with what many fall victim too and that is the symptoms.

The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea and How They Are Ignored

We are all busy, and we also tend to make things no big deal. Well, sleep apnea is a very big deal. To be fair, most people have no idea what sleep apnea is. And if you don’t know what it is then how do you know you have it?

The dilemma that plagues over 22 million Americans living with OSA (Obstructive sleep apnea). This can be scary to think about right? Another interesting fact is out of this large group of people around 80% are undiagnosed. Meaning with the knowledge and awareness of this chronic disorder is going to drastically improve your quality of life once properly treated if, in fact, you do have OSA.

Before we list the most common symptoms you need to know that if you have sleep apnea it can be any of the three types. Earlier we discussed obstructive sleep apnea. This is the most common. There is the second type of central sleep apnea (CSA) this affects your sleep health severely.

Central sleep apnea means your nervous system and respiratory system fail to communicate when you are asleep. Or communicates poorly, is the sense you breath shallow, or hold your breath ever second or third breath.

The last type is complex sleep apnea that mixes both OSA and CSA. This is the most severe because your upper airway and nervous system are compromised. Consequently causing your health to plummet in more than one way.


Hypersomnia – Excessive daytime drowsiness, if you constantly find yourself tired or always yawning it means your brain is not receiving enough oxygen because of shallow breathing. Which extends to when you sleep.

Headaches first thing in the morning – You should wake up refreshed and ready for the day with energy. If you have a morning headache it means you did not sleep well. Happening consistently is a clear sign of sleep apnea.

Insomnia – When you have difficulty staying asleep you have a sleeping disorder. Not getting a healthy amount of sleep causes stress on the heart, and brain to perform without energy and the proper recovery time you need daily. If you can’t sleep you need to be tested for sleep apnea.

Snoring Loudly – If you snore, this means there is blockage of your airway because of a change in your anatomy of the airway. This is a very common symptom for OSA.

Waking up feeling confused – Waking up confused in the middle of the night is also a symptom of OSA. You also have a tendency to wake up gasping for air because of holding your breath while sleeping.

Not Breathing During Sleep – This is observed by someone else as you sleep. They may notice your chest is not rising consistently.

Difficulty focusing while awake – Being able to focus clearly on a task is necessary for safety if you working with machinery, or if your driving. If you have trouble focusing you need to consult your physician.

How You are Diagnosed With Sleep Apnea

So we talked about the most common symptoms of sleep apnea. What next? If you feel you have any of these symptoms what should you do? If you want to get the help you first need to set up an appointment with your primary care physician. Go see them, tell them about your concerns about not sleeping, and most likely you will receive a referral to a sleep doctor.

These are doctors that specialize in sleep medicine and sleeping disorders. Depending on your medical insurance you may not need a referral, but it’s always good to get a full check-up to make sure there are no other underlying issues.

Once you are in front of a sleep study doctor they will ask you a series of questions. Once the criteria are met for a sleep study, you will be given an appointment. And specific instructions on when to arrive for your sleep study.

The sleep study is a test that monitors your chest wall moment as you sleep, along with how much air is released from your nose and mouth during slumber. Your brain waves are also measured to check for neurological disconnect while sleeping. Consider doing research on sleep studies before you arrive for your appointment so you are not overly nervous.

Sleep study technician make you feel comfortable and explain everything during the setup. You will have electrodes attached to your head, arms, chest, and legs. Which helps to monitor heart rate as well.

The Results

When your sleep study is completed you will set an appointment for about 1-2 weeks away. This will give your sleep doctor the time to evaluate your sleep test, checking for symptoms of hypopneas (holding your breath) and shallow breathing. Also, your sleep doctor will study your brain waves and heart rate throughout the night.

Once your test has been completely reviewed, you will get your results and at that time find out if you have sleep apnea. Moreover, you will learn the type, whether it’s obstructive, central, or mixed. The doctor will also inform you if it’s mild, moderate, or severe in nature.

Sleep apnea poses several health risks and the consequences of not treating it can be severe. Hypertension, heart failure, and cardiovascular disease are just a few chronic conditions that can be provoked because of sleep apnea.

In Conclusion

As you learned above, if you have sleep apnea it’s very important to be properly treated. This avoids further stress and problems with your health that OSA can cause. Dr. Levy and the staff of Sleep Better Columbus will guide you every step of the way.

OSA is extremely easy to treat. There is no need to be afraid. What you don’t want is to let this chronic condition linger.

And with state of the art equipment and Oral Appliances; you have access to the experience Better Sleep Columbus provides their patients. This eliminates promoting further deterioration of your health and gives you several options to remain comfortable during your sleep apnea treatment.

Better Sleep Columbus welcomes your call. Reach out today at (614) 362-7292.

What Does Sleep Apnea Cause

What Does Sleep Apnea Cause

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder viewed by many as something minor and not much to worry about. But when you look beneath the surface and ask what does sleep apnea cause, astonishing details are revealed. As a result, in the past few years, this myth has been busted. And sleep apnea has become a widely popular topic. Why? Because of what life-threatening diseases it can cause or worsen.

However, there is so much more work to be done in spreading the word. In this article, we are going to go over some of the disorders that can manifest because of sleep apnea and how ignoring the signs and symptoms can cause more harm. You will learn how to recognize these symptoms and what you can do to get treated.

Sound good? Great… Let’s get started.

Sleep Apnea and Common Disorders It Can Cause

There are over 800 sleep disorders, but sleep apnea is the one more common in the United States. And has become a significant reason for health issues. It’s been confirmed that over 22 million Americans grapple with sleep apnea every night.

About 1 out of every 12 Americans suffer and are inadvertently encouraging future healthcare complications because of sleep apnea when it’s left undiagnosed and treated. And sadly, undiagnosed sleep apnea is the truth for 80% of cases.

So how do you avoid falling victim to perpetual healthcare decline from sleep apnea? You do so, by becoming aware and following the steps to get diagnosed and then treated by a sleep study doctor such Dr. Levy of Sleep Better Columbus. After all, if you suffer from sleep apnea you want someone who can improve your quality of life quickly and make things comfortable for you.

Common Disorders Sleep Apnea Promotes

Asking what does sleep apnea cause, but the greatest minds in sleep medicine to work. It’s only when the right questions are asked that the solution of the best treatment for a problem gets solved. Here is a list of the most common diseases affiliated with sleep apnea.

  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
  • Chronic Heart Failure (CHF)
  • Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
  • Stroke (loss of blood flow to the brain)
  • Depression
  • Type-2 Diabetes
  • Liver Problems
  • Excessive Day Time Fatigue

As you can see, the list above is filled with serious life-threatening conditions and can cause life long consequences if discovered too late.

For example, how much would your life change if you fell asleep at the wheel? Or you drifted off to sleep as you were cooking something on the stove? These mistakes happen every single day because of sleep apnea. If you experienced either one these, how would your life be different?

Worsening Disorders

When you are already suffering from a disease or disorder like chronic heart failure obstructive sleep apnea will make it significantly worse. See when you fail to breathe as you sleep, you cause your co2 (aka) carbon monoxide to build up in your blood. As you breathe regularly moving oxygen and co2 in and out of your body you naturally retain some co2. But people who have sleep apnea have less oxygen in their blood and higher co2 levels.

This creates your blood to become thicker and also stunt the receptors in your body that tell your brain to breathe when sleeping. This causes more stress on the heart to work harder and harder, attempting to bring back homeostasis. Unfortunately without treatment of your sleep apnea, you remain in a vicious cycle of deterioration.

The only way to fix it is with help from a sleep doctor who can properly treat your individual case with the right positive pressure treatment or oral appliance treatment. It all depends on your type of sleep apnea.

This is only one case study of a worsening disorder. There are several outcomes base on the disease that sleep apnea can worsen.

Common Risk Factors To Sleep Apnea

Gender – Middle-aged and older men are more likely to acquire sleep apnea. Sleeping disorder breathing affects almost 50% of men and only 24% of women.

Note: Smoking drastically increases the risk of sleep apnea regardless of gender.

Obesity – There is a relationship between sleep apnea and obesity in around 60% of the cases that are diagnosed. Having a thicker neck because of larger fat deposits will instantly cause an increased risk of obstructing your airway.

Narrow airway – Conversely, being born with or having been in an accident that decreases your airway circumference, will also increase your risk for OSA.

Substance abuse – Using any sedatives or narcotics that impair the nervous system will increase your chances of sleep apnea, more so for CSA (Central Sleep Apnea). You must be careful when taking medications prescribed and know how your body will react.

Stroke – As we mentioned earlier, sleep apnea can cause a stroke. However, if you have already suffered from a stroke you are at a higher risk of acquiring this chronic disorder.

Having a family history – At times you will be predisposed to sleep apnea because it runs in your family. This doesn’t mean you’re destined for sleep apnea, it only means you must be vigilant in your awareness of how you are feeling. And paying attention to the symptoms of sleep apnea presents.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Knowing what sleep apnea causes is part of the puzzle when piecing together the treatment and management of sleep apnea. Knowing how to pay attention to how you feel is also important. Here are some of the most common symptoms you can look out for – in your behavior or those close to you.

  1. Snoring loudly
  2. Chronic morning headaches
  3. Waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air
  4. Holding your breath in your sleep (observed by someone else)
  5. Lack of focus while awake
  6. Irritable
  7. Insomnia (or waking up multiple times throughout the night)
  8. When you wake up you have extremely dry mouth
  9. Exhaustion throughout the day

These are some common symptoms of sleep apnea. And ones to pay attention too for signs you may need to see a sleep study specialist like Dr. Levy from Sleep Better Columbus.

In Conclusion

By now we don’t have to convince you that your sleep health is a necessity for a safe and happy life. Dr. Levy has treated hundreds of patients suffering from sleep apnea. He uses sleep study methods that help diagnose your sleep apnea is a comfortable way. Then afterward sit’s down with you and discuss your best options on treatment.

You may need an affordable state of the art CPAP device, or you may decide to use an oral appliance. You see, with the oral appliance you are fitted for a mouthpiece that can make sleep apnea treatment a breeze. Let our professional team help you with your diagnosis and treatment to ensure you live a long and healthy life.

It’s no longer hard to be diagnosed and treated. You’re not alone. Take the knowledge and the awareness of sleep apnea and make sure you avoid the mistakes so many others fail to avoid. Dr. Levy and staff at Sleep Better Columbus welcome you to call us at (614) 362-7292. The answer to the question – what does sleep apnea cause? Has been answered. The only thing left for you to do is trust us to help.

How Common is Sleep Apnea?

How Common is Sleep Apnea?

Having trouble sleeping? You may ask yourself what is wrong. Why is it that I can’t sleep through the night? If you find yourself feeling even more tired after you wake up from your rest you might be suffering from a chronic disorder call sleep apnea. How common is sleep apnea anyway?

Sleep apnea is so common most people have it and don’t even realize it. This is very dangerous because untreated sleep disorders can lead to an infinite amount of other health concerns. Some we will go over a bit later. In this article, our goal is to explain the necessities you need to know about sleep apnea. How you can recognize symptoms in yourself and others. And find the help you need in order to receive testing and treatment.

Let’s get started.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

A big mistake you can make is ignoring that you are tired throughout the day or that you snore. Sleep apnea is a chronic medical condition that prevents you from breathing during sleep. It can be caused by a blockage in the airway because of relaxed muscles in the throat. Also, a more severe case is when breathing is prevented because of a lack of communication from the brain and the central nervous system to your respiratory system to breathe.

There is one more kind of sleep apnea out of the 3 types and that that is mixed sleep apnea. This is when you suffer from a combination of Central Sleep Apnea and Obstructive sleep apnea. Mixed Sleep Apnea is the most severe of the types. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. And unfortunately the condition you may suffer from.

The Commonality of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is made up of 3 types. That includes OSA (Obstructive sleep apnea), CSA (Central sleep apnea), and Mixed (Also known as Complex sleep apnea syndrome). So how common is sleep apnea?

In the U.S between 50 million and 70 million people have some kind of sleeping disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. To be more specific between 3 and 7% of men have OSA while it’s a bit lower for women coming in between 2-5%. Sadly however this number for women is rising. As OSA is more common in middle-aged to older men, women are beginning to be recognized as suffering from this disorder.

To put this into perspective even further, there are 326 million people living in the United States. Out of that number, one out of every twelve suffers from OSA. That is 22 million people. And only a small percentage actually gets treatment, leaving the rest to harbor disease because of worsening sleep apnea symptoms without treatment (75 – 85% go undiagnosed).

More Statistics

Out of the U.S population, 10% have mild obstructive sleep apnea, around 3 ½ % have moderate sleep apnea, and around 4% suffers from severe OSA, also know as hypopnea which is the medical term for excessive shallow breathing, and lower than normal rate of breathing over a one minute period. Essentially you are failing to bring in enough oxygen while you rest causing abnormalities in your health.

Which brings us to the next area of discussion. How can you tell if you may be suffering from sleep apnea? There are symptoms that are most prevalent when involving sleep apnea.

Most Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Obstructive and Central sleep apnea have symptoms that are red flags that you need further testing in the form of a sleep study. These symptoms can be present both for OSA or CSA but your doctor will refer you for a sleep study either way.

  • Excessive day time drowsiness
  • Morning headaches after waking up
  • Waking up with large gasp for air
  • Insomnia (you don’t sleep for long, maybe a few hours a night)
  • Loud snoring (waking those in close proximity because of the noise)
  • Poor attention span and lack of focus
  • Uncomfortable dry mouth when you wake up

As you can see these are easy to spot and to notice in yourself. Now that you are aware of these common symptoms you can begin paying close attention to how you feel. These are but a small amount of symptoms so if you notice things like irritability and always needing that extra cup of coffee you might be suffering from sleep apnea. You should be able to make it through the day energetic and focused.

Some Common Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea

  • Family history
  • Being a male
  • Middle to older aged
  • Obesity
  • Nasal blockages or airway abnormalities
  • Smoking
  • Neurological disorders
  • Drug use (some narcotics will suppress the nervous system)

There are other risk factors but these are present in the common area of sleep apnea risk factors.

Treatment Options

When you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you can there are a few ways to receive treatment. If you have central sleep apnea there are limitations to your options, since you will need a device to keep your airway open because of a neurological disconnection. But with OSA you can use a CPAP or an oral appliance offered by the office of Sleep Better Columbus.

This oral appliance is similar to a mouthpiece, that pulls your jaw forward. This eliminates the obstruction as you sleep creating a safe breathing canal that supports a normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

In Conclusion

As you can see, sleep apnea is very common. After all, with over 80% of Americans not being diagnosed it’s more common than ever. Failing to get treatment will lead to health problems like stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. Being referred to a sleep study doctor such as Dr. Levy from the office of Better Sleep Columbus can improve your quality of life drastically.

The one on one attention and sleep study technology will easily help diagnose your kind of sleep apnea and then you will be given the best way to treat it.

Not knowing is the worst part. But this article answered the question, how common is sleep apnea? You not only learned how common, but also how dangerous this disorder is, how to recognize its most common symptoms and where you can go for help. If you feel you are suffering from sleep apnea and want to make sure call the office of Sleep better Columbus at (614) 362-7292.

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