Sleep Apnea Questions

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when a sleeper discontinues breathing for 10 seconds during the night and is forced awake by the brain due to decreased oxygen levels. Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that can negatively affect the lifestyles and daytime productivity of both the victim and victim’s loved one. Many health problems like depression, daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure and others are directly associated with sleep apnea.

Are certain individuals at an increased risk of suffering from sleep apnea?

Yes. Lifestyle choices, age, and overall health all factor into the chances of developing sleep apnea. Specifically, the following factors lead to an increased risk of suffering from sleep apnea:

  • Being male
  • Being over age 65
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Genetics 

How can I tell if my partner suffers from sleep apnea?

Most often, sufferers of sleep apnea are unaware of their condition. Through both your partner’s acute observations and your personal awareness, you can look for common symptoms of sleep apnea, which include:

  • Inability to remain asleep through the night
  • Headaches upon waking
  • Fatigue during daytime hours
  • Loud snoring
  • Interrupted breathing throughout the night
  • Awaking suddenly with a shortness of breath 

Are there different types of sleep apnea?

Yes. Three types of sleep apnea exist:

  • Central Sleep Apnea — The brain sends signals to your muscles in order to regulate breathing. However, the brain fails to perform this function in victims of central sleep apnea.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea — This occurs when throat muscles relax during sleep, obstructing airflow to the brain. Oxygen levels decrease in the brain until you are forced awake to restart breathing. A common sign of obstructive sleep apnea is the sleeper waking with a loud gasp or choking noise.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea — When an individual suffers from both obstructive and central sleep apnea. 

If you believe that you or a partner is suffering from sleep apnea and live in the Washington, D.C. or northern Virginia area, please contact our sleep apnea office at NOVA SurgiCare today at Novasurgicare Phone Number 703-288-4495 to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Hamrah.