Three Kinds of Sleep Apnea

There are three different types of sleep apnea. At our dental office, we have options to treat you. If you’re diagnosed with central complex, it’s best to follow your medical doctor’s recommendations.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): When you have a full or partial blockage in your airway that doesn’t allow oxygen to your brain or the rest of your body. This blockage is typically caused by soft tissues in the throat, such as the tongue or soft palate. Although, there are cases where the blockage in the nasal passage.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): The brain doesn’t tell the lungs to breathe. This type is much less common than OSA, but it’s most common among older adults and premature babies.

Complex Sleep Apnea: A combination of the two. It’s usually caused by dependence on CPAP. Patients will have OSA and use CPAP long-term, and their brains will get used to not telling the lungs to breathe.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

This goes undiagnosed partly because people don’t know to get tested but also because it’s easy to misdiagnose. Many of the symptoms overlap with other conditions.

Daytime Symptoms

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Weight gain

Nighttime Symptoms

  • Loud snoring
  • Insomnia
  • Witnessed apnea episodes
  • Choking, coughing, or gasping for air
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • Night sweats

woman waking up refreshed without sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea Headaches

A common symptom of sleep apnea is a sleep apnea headache or a morning headache. However, waking up with a morning headache doesn’t necessarily mean obstructive sleep apnea; there are many reasons to wake up with a headache. But this symptom, coupled with others from the list above, is a sign that you should get tested for obstructive sleep apnea.

A sleep apnea headache is one you wake up with at least 15 days a month. It feels like something is pressing across both sides of your head and can last up to four hours.

Unlike other headaches or migraines, you won’t feel any sensitivity to light or sound, pulsing pain, or nausea. But be aware that if you are prone to migraines, the constant stress of a sleep apnea morning headache could trigger a migraine.

Distinguishing a Sleep Apnea Headache

  • Lasts 30 minutes to 4 hours
  • Pressing pain rather than pulsing
  • No light or sound sensitivity
  • No nausea
  • It happens about half of the month
  • Feel pain on both sides of your head

Sleep apnea headaches occur because of your fragmented sleep. When you have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, your brain is deprived of enough oxygen for the blood vessels in your head to swell and cause pain. However, this could also be a symptom of other sleep disorders, such as insomnia. That’s why it’s crucial to get a sleep test to be sure you know why your morning headaches and other symptoms are occurring.

Get tested for obstructive sleep apnea if you wake up with chronic morning headaches. Call (515) 222-0505 or make an appointment online to get started. Our sleep dentist, Dr. Douglas Pick, can help you along your sleep apnea treatment journey.

Dangerous Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea

The symptoms of sleep apnea are disruptive at best and life-threatening at worst. Leaving it untreated can result in workplace and automobile accidents, a loss of joy in life, relationship trouble, and low professional performance.

Sleep apnea is more than not getting enough sleep. It’s not getting quality sleep because your body can’t pass through all the stages of sleep. Each stage is vital, with REM and deep sleep being restorative stages. During these stages, your body repairs cells, releases hormones, and cleanses the brain of toxic chemical buildup from daily brain function. Without progressing through these stages, you’ll be at risk for severe consequences.

  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart attacks
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

If you think you might have sleep apnea, get a sleep test and seek treatment from Dr. Douglas Pick, Des Moines premiere sleep dentist. Call (515) 222-0505 or make an appointment online.

Who Is At Risk?

A common misconception is that only overweight, older men are at risk. While this is a risk category, it doesn’t mean that these are the only people who can get sleep apnea. Anyone can have it, regardless of age, gender, and weight. With that said, here are some more risk factors..

Excessive Weight: Extra weight puts more pressure on the tissues in your airway, and when your muscles are relaxed, your airway could collapse or become partially obstructed.

Neck Circumference: People with thicker necks could have a more narrow airway. This doesn’t necessarily mean excess weight.

Genetically Narrow Airway: Some are born with a narrow airway. You may be at risk.

Family History: Do members of your family have sleep apnea? If you snore loudly or experience other symptoms, getting a sleep test is worth it.

Alcohol, Drugs, and Sleep Medications: Alcohol, drugs, and medication relax your muscles heavily and could cause an obstruction. It’s best to avoid these things if you have sleep apnea.

Smoking: Smoking causes inflammation in your airway and mucus build-up. If you think you have it, or know you have it, it’s best to quit smoking.

Seeking treatment for sleep apnea can change your whole life. With treatment, you’ll rid yourself of the symptoms and lower your risk for severe consequences.

Get Sleep Apnea Treatment in Des Moines Today

Treatment in Des Moines shouldn’t be hard or complicated. We offer comprehensive, compassionate treatment for those who suffer from OSA. We’ll examine the results of your sleep study and make a treatment recommendation based on the severity of your disorder, your lifestyle, adherence to treatment, and budget. For those with mild to moderate, we’ll provide you with a custom oral appliance that holds your airway open while you sleep.

If you need a recommendation for a sleep study, give us a call! We are your resource for all things sleep apnea and are happy to help. Call Dr. Douglas Pick at (515) 222-0505 or make an appointment online today.