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How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Your Breathing?

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Snoring is overall a fairly common problem that can affect all types of people. Occasional snoring can be an annoying problem, and can disrupt sleep to some extent, but it doesn’t always indicate a larger issue. However, if you snore often, you could be facing something a bit more serious. It’s not just your sleep quality that is being affected, it’s the sleep of your loved ones, too. If you’re a habitual snorer, read on to learn what you may be dealing with.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring happens when the flow of air through your mouth and nose is obstructed by something. Constant snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that has many negative effects, including:

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Interruption of Breathing

This could be for a few seconds, up to several minutes! This is dangerous and serious.

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Waking Frequently

You may not even realize that you’re waking as much as you are. This causes you to have very poor quality of sleep which affects your daily life in a number of ways.

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Overall Poor Sleep Quality

Waking up so often at night interferes with the normal pattern of sleep, causing more time to be spent in lighter sleep than in the more restorative, deeper sleep that your body truly needs. Your mind and body actually heal when you’re in a deep sleep, so this “light” sleep you’re constantly getting isn’t helping to rejuvenate your body.

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Strain on your Heart

When you suffer from sleep apnea, this often causes high blood pressure and enlargement of the heart. This puts you at a much greater risk of heart attack, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes and AFIB.

Breathing Problems

Sleep apnea patients experience “apneas” at night while they’re sleeping. An apnea is an episode in which someone stops breathing briefly due to a blocked airway.

The soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes when you’re sleeping, which causes this type of blockage. When this happens, your lungs aren’t taking in any air, despite your body’s attempts to breathe. When your brain finally realizes there is a problem, it wakes you up so you can start breathing again. As a result, sleep apnea patients suffer from chronic sleep interruptions.

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    Sleep Disorder or Respiratory Disease?

    Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder because it only affects you during sleep. But the World Health Organization also includes sleep apnea in its list of chronic respiratory diseases.

    A respiratory disease is any disease that affects your lungs and ability to breathe. By this definition, sleep apnea is a respiratory disease. However, sleep apnea doesn’t necessarily cause other breathing problems. It is a breathing problem that only affects you during sleep.

    Sleep apnea can worsen existing breathing disorders if left untreated. Interrupted breathing for any period is dangerous. This is especially true for those with sleep apnea, given how often they stop breathing each night. It is a severe condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment.

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    Ready to get started on your diagnosis or treatment?

    Click below to select one of our three diagnosis options to help us create the right plan for you!