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Is that third cup of coffee no longer getting you through your day? Has your partner moved to another room to sleep because of your snoring?
Sleep apnea is when a person’s breathing is paused as they sleep, with pauses lasting from 10-30 seconds.
Its sufferers however are often unaware of the issue, despite having to partially wake up to resume breathing. As a result, the sleeper will often not fully awake, having little to no awareness that their sleep is being disrupted.
Yes. Not surprisingly, when you stop breathing, your body automatically responds as if you were in an emergency – the adrenal gland secretes adrenalin, blood sugar spikes and heart rate rises. Each episode of apnea (no breathing) causes blood oxygen levels to drop (hypoxia). The continuous interruption of sleep patterns results in a patient feeling unrested throughout the day.
This can have detrimental side effects including poor reflexes and lack of concentration. Additionally, sleepiness – the primary symptom of sleep apnea – increases the risk of motor vehicle collisions and work-related injuries.
It is also associated with other medical conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression, stroke, and weight gain.
Effective treatments do exist. The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This type frequently occurs while the patient is asleep on his or her back. The soft palate, tonsils and tongue at the back of the throat relax and fall back, blocking the airway.
Learn more about the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Dr. Robert Axelrad treats obstructive sleep apnea and has spent years researching the subject. If you think you may have sleep apnea and want more information, call us at (905)-791-3867 or book an appointment online via our website.
We are located at 40 Finchgate Boulevard, Suite 121 at Bestgate Professional Centre. Our dental office in Brampton, ON welcomes new patients, walk-ins and dental emergencies for all ages.