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Sleep Apnea Symptoms: What You Need to Know

Sleep is an essential pillar of health and wellbeing. Without it, things can go wrong fast. 

But, for some people, sleep apnea can prevent them from getting the quality sleep they need. It can also create a host of additional health issues. 

It is a condition that affects around 22 million Americans. However, experts estimate that 80 percent of cases go undiagnosed. 

In this post, we define sleep apnea and discuss both symptoms and treatments.

Sleep Apnea Tucson

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea happens when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. 

At Cochise Oncology, we see three types of sleep apnea: 

  • Central sleep apnea – when the brain does not send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing
  • Obstructive sleep apnea – when the muscles in the throat relax too much, preventing air from travelling down to the lungs
  • Complex sleep apnea – when elements of both central and obstructive sleep apnea are present

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Because sleep apnea occurs while you sleep, it can be challenging to identify. Usually, a partner will tell you that you were gasping or snoring loudly during the night. 

The most common signs of sleep apnea are: 

  • Unusually loud snoring 
  • Frequent episodes of stopped breathing while you sleep
  • Waking up with a dry mouth in the morning
  • Finding yourself gasping for breath that wakes you up
  • Morning headaches
  • Trouble with staying asleep
  • Trouble with paying attention during the day
  • Feeling grouchy or irritable

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Simply fill out the form on this page to request an appointment and one of our knowledgable team members will reach out to you. Or call our Sierra Vista oncology center to schedule directly at (520) 803-6644.

Sleep Apnea Treatments

At Cochise Oncology, we see many patients who struggle with sleep apnea. Fortunately, there are many treatments available. 

CPAP – also called continuous positive airway pressure – is a sleeping aid for patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea. Here, you wear a mask over your face connected to a machine that provides air pressure throughout the night, keeping your airways open. 

CPAP can sometimes be uncomfortable for patients because of the nature of the mask and airtube connecting it. However, you can try adjusting the strap tension and using different masks. 

Another option is to use an oral appliance. While not as effective as CPAP, they are easier to use. They work by bringing your jaw forward while you sleep, opening up your throat, reducing the snoring obstructive sleep apnea causes. 

Your sleep apnea might also be the result of an underlying medical problem. If so, Cochise Oncology can provide you with medications that target neuromuscular disorders.

Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

Knowing whether you have sleep apnea can be a challenge. At Cochise Oncology, we will evaluate your case based on the signs, symptoms and sleep history. Sometimes, we may conduct overnight monitoring of your breathing and bodily functions. You may also receive a home sleep test. This measures critical biomarkers, such as your blood oxygen level, airflow, breathing patterns and heart rate to identify possible sleep apnea episodes. 

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Take the Next Step

Are you ready to learn more about sleep disorders? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page. We look forward to meeting you!

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