Kamal Anjum, MD, FCCP
Pulmonary Medicine & Critical Care located in Hollywood, FL
Many people don’t realize that loud snoring isn’t always harmless. It may be a symptom of sleep apnea, a condition that leads to serious complications. The experts at K. Anjum, MD, FCCP, in Hollywood, Florida, talk with patients whose symptoms suggest sleep apnea, giving them all the details about its possible effects on their general health, as well as on their heart and brain, and encouraging them not to ignore their symptoms. If you snore loudly or you feel fatigued during the day, call the office to meet with Dr. Kamal Anjum or schedule an appointment online.
Sleep Apnea Q & A
What causes sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your breathing stops while you sleep. In mild cases, your breathing may stop 5-15 times every hour, while it stops 30 times or more per hour in severe cases.
Your breathing stops when soft tissues in your mouth and throat relax enough to cover the airway. As a result, oxygen levels drop and your brain reacts, waking you just enough to make you breathe again.
What symptoms indicate I have sleep apnea?
Loud snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea. In many cases, you don’t realize you’re snoring, but your partner or others in your household may complain about it.
The frequent disruptions in your sleep make you feel fatigued throughout the day. People with sleep apnea may need to go to the bathroom several times during the night and wake up in the morning with a dry mouth or headache
What increases my risk for sleep apnea?
Anything that blocks your airways increases your risk of sleep apnea. For example, you may have chronic nasal congestion or you may have inherited a narrow passageway.
However, the biggest risk factor is being overweight. Sleep apnea is becoming more frequent in people aged 35 and older who are overweight.
What health complications develop due to sleep apnea?
When oxygen levels drop, your body initiates a cascade of events that affect your heart and blood vessels and boost levels of biochemicals that cause inflammation. As a result, sleep apnea increases your risk of health complications such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease, such as atherosclerosis
- Heart failure
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Memory problems
Treating sleep apnea, however, significantly reduces your risk and may resolve some of the problems caused by the condition.
How is sleep apnea treated?
While your symptoms may suggest sleep apnea, the only way to diagnose the condition is with a sleep study conducted in your home or at a local sleep clinic. While you sleep, these studies measure your oxygen levels, breathing, airflow, and other factors, depending on the type of test.
Once sleep apnea is diagnosed, the team at K. Anjum, MD, FCCP, talks with you about the different ways to treat the condition, giving you all the details so you can make the best decision for your health.
To learn more about sleep apnea, call K. Anjum, MD, FCCP, or schedule an appointment online.