According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep apnea is a fairly common sleep disorder that affects millions of adults and children in the United States. Because the condition often goes diagnosed, many people are unaware that they are having problems with their breathing while they sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex (a combination of obstructive and central). If left untreated, sleep apnea can disrupt quality of life and increase the risk of potentially serious health problems. The sleep medicine doctors at Pacific Sleep Program in Astoria and Portland, OR, offer testing and treatment plans a number of sleep disorders.
Sleep Medicine Programs in Astoria and Portland, OR
Sleep apnea causes momentary pauses in breathing throughout the night while a person sleeps. Many people with sleep apnea are unaware that their breathing is being interrupted until someone witnesses it. The main symptoms are loud and chronic snoring, but the lack of oxygen caused by irregular breathing causes a number of additional symptoms and potential health problems such as:
- Daytime exhaustion and fatigue, even after a "full" night's sleep
- Difficulty concentrating and focusing
- Memory problems
- Dry mouth
Possible complications include:
- Cognitive problems/decreased motor skills
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Complications during pregnancy
Anyone can develop sleep apnea, but there are a few factors that can potentially increase the risk such as obesity, large tonsils, endocrine issues, neuromuscular problems, and lifestyle issues like smoking or alcohol consumption.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type and occurs when the muscles in the throat relax during sleep and block the airway. Central sleep apnea is much less common and results when the brain's signals to the muscles that control breathing malfunction. There are a number of different treatment options including lifestyle modifications and breathing devices that help keep the airway open during sleep.
Find a Sleep Medicine Doctor in Astoria and Portland, OR
For more information about the symptoms and treatment options for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, contact the Pacific Sleep Program to schedule an appointment with one of our sleep medicine doctors and specialists by calling 503-325-4933 in Astoria or 503-228-4414 in Portland.