Sleep apnea has become an increasingly common sleep disorder that is characterized by shallow breathing or one or more pauses in your breathing while you sleep. These pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to even several minutes, resulting in an ongoing disruption that moves you out of deep, restful sleep. Many patients suffering from sleep apnea commonly feel tired, or even exhausted, even if they think they have slept throughout the entire night.
Although there are many people who have this sleep disorder, most people who suffer from sleep apnea are not aware they have the condition. You may have sleep apnea if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Sleepiness or lack of energy after a full night’s rest
- Restless sleep patterns
- Morning headaches
- Waking up with a gasping or choking sensation
- Waking up with a sore or dry throat
One of the most common indicators of sleep apnea is loud snoring, but if you are a loud snorer, this doesn’t mean you definitely have this condition. A polysomnogram test, which will be performed at a sleep center or in the comfort of your own home, records specific physical activities while you sleep. This test is used by doctors and sleep specialists to make a definite diagnosis of a patient with sleep apnea. In some cases, patients that are diagnosed with sleep apnea can treat the condition at home by changing certain behaviors or utilizing dental devices. However, some sleep apnea cases are better solved through a surgical procedure performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea or have been referred by your physician to receive additional tests, please feel free to contact Fort Lauderdale Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to make an appointment with Dr. Hernandez.