Sleep Apnea Symptoms & Your Health in Philadelphia, PA

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a serious health disorder that interferes with your ability to breathe during sleep. This occurs when the soft tissues of the palate relax in the back of your throat, preventing the flow of oxygen. Because of this, you’ll repeatedly wake up throughout the night, as your body quickly recognizes the lack of oxygen. These episodes can happen several hundred times a night, but most patients will have no memory of them the next morning.

Here at our office in Philadelphia, Dr. Slobodinsky specializes in helping patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea get the treatment they need to help them get a good night’s rest and improve their overall health.

man tired at work

Determining the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Are you and your spouse repeatedly unable to get sleep due to loud snoring? Snoring may be harmless — or it can be the symptom of something more serious like a sleep disorder.

It can be confusing when you begin to notice certain signs of a sleep disorder and may not know whether or not you should take the next steps. However, learning about the symptoms of sleep apnea and getting a proper diagnosis through a professional sleep study conducted by Dr. Slobodinsky will help you get the treatment you need.

While sleep apnea is typically associated with deep, loud snoring and gasps for air in the middle of the night, it’s important to also look out for these other common signs:

  • Excessive daytime drowsiness
  • Lack of energy or motivation throughout the day
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or headache
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Mood swings or changes in attitude
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • Reduced libido
woman checking blood pressure

Health Risks of Sleep Apnea

While anyone can develop sleep apnea, certain groups are at an increased risk. More males than females are diagnosed with sleep-related disorders and older adults are at a higher risk compared to younger patients. Women and young patients are at a lower risk, but that doesn’t mean they can’t develop a sleep disorder.

Additional risk factors may also include:

  • Family history of sleep-related disorders
  • Heavy smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Being overweight
  • Having a large neck circumference
  • Nasal congestion
  • Pregnancy

If you snore loudly and fall into one of these higher-risk categories, it’s important to contact our Philadelphia office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Slobodinsky to look at treatment options.

Potential Health Complications

Sleep apnea doesn’t just impact the quality of your sleep, but can potentially harm your mental and physical health. If left untreated, this harmful sleep disorder can increase your risk for a number of serious medical conditions including:

  • Strokes
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic disease
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Liver problems

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of sleep apnea?
How can I reduce my risk of sleep apnea?
What happens during a sleep study?
What if I don’t seek treatment for sleep apnea?

What are the different types of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is categorized in two types known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). OSA is the more common form of the sleep disorder, occurring when the throat muscles relax at night and interrupt a person’s breathing patterns. CSA happens when your brain doesn’t signal your body to breathe, causing pauses in breath for short periods of time throughout sleep.

Symptoms of either type of sleep apnea may vary from person to person, so it’s important to first have a consultation with Dr. Slobodinsky to determine which form you may suffer from.

How can I reduce my risk of sleep apnea?

To reduce your risk of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes along with treatment can be great methods for alleviating symptoms. Several approaches with proven benefits include:

  • Following a well-balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Changing your sleep position
  • Using a humidifier to open your airway
  • Avoiding tobacco use
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Using an oral appliance

What happens during a sleep study?

A sleep study is the only way to positively diagnose sleep disorders for our patients, including those with sleep apnea. This non-invasive test monitors your brain and body at night and looks for any possible disruptions in the pattern of your sleep.

Your study will measure your heart rate, snoring, body movements, breathing, and more over the course of seven hours of sleep to establish an accurate diagnosis for Dr. Slobodinsky. The data will be used to further evaluate your condition and determine what treatment options are best for you.

While sleep studies are typically completed at a sleep lab, you may be given an at-home sleep test for your own convenience. Once the test is complete, Dr. Slobodinsky will help you in taking the necessary steps for treatment.

What if I don’t seek treatment for sleep apnea?

It’s important to seek effective treatment for sleep apnea since it won’t go away on its own. If left untreated, the disorder can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health, with the consequences also being potentially life-threatening.

Studies have shown sleep apnea to be linked to a higher risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other serious conditions.

Sleep Well Knowing You’re Taking Action

Identifying the cause of your snoring and daytime fatigue can resolve your symptoms and address related health risks. Here at Sleep Well Philadelphia, Dr. Slobodinsky can help you take the next steps in getting a good night’s sleep comfortably and affordably. Learn more about our treatment options for sleep apnea by calling our office for a consultation at (215) 739-2543 or by filling our contact form..