Sleep Apnea – It’s a killer! Do you know the warning signs?

| December 7, 2011

Columbus Ohio Sleep Apnea

Do you get up in the morning feeling exhausted-like maybe you’ve been fighting for your life all night?  Do you have high blood pressure?  Do you snore or has your significant other told you that you stop breathing sometimes when you’re sleeping?  Do you have trouble staying awake during the day because you don’t sleep well?  All of these are signs that can indicate that a person can have sleep apnea, which literally translated means absence of breathing during sleep.

I became acutely aware of sleep apnea as a life threatening condition when I began providing IV sedation for my Columbus area high anxiety patients.  I found that when relaxation set in from the mild to moderate sedation, some of my patients became super snorers, and some actually stopped breathing because their airway was obstructed when they were in a very relaxed condition-like when they are asleep.  Of course, in the office, we have precise patient monitoring to the point that we are listening to every breath our patient takes and we know at all times what their oxygen saturation is along with pulse and blood pressure; but what happens to these patients at home when they get to the relaxed point in their sleep and their airway closes?  What happens is they literally begin a fight for their life!  Their body senses an emergency and releases adrenalin which triggers the fight or flight response.  The blood pressure spikes and the person is jolted into consciousness enough so that they can breathe again.  For people with severe sleep apnea, this process can be occurring 20-30 times an hour!  Imagine how devastating this is to a person’s health.  Imagine what it does to your blood pressure when you have 20-30 fight or flight responses every hour at night!

Sleep apnea is a very real threat to a person’s health. For diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea, we have medical specialists that we recommend to our patients.  Working with those doctors, we can many times help in the treatment with specific types of oral appliances to help in keeping the airway open.

If you would like more information, or if you think you may be experiencing sleep apnea,  contact our office at 614-486-7378 for an appointment today.

Take this sleep apnea test today!