A lot of people don’t know exactly what sleep apnea is. It’s different than snoring, as you can snore and not be experiencing sleep apnea. But, if you’re waking up and gasping for air, then there’s a good chance that what you have is sleep apnea, and this can be a very serious problem. This basically means you are choking when you’re sleeping.
This disorder isn’t uncommon at all. But why is this of concern to urologists? Well, if you’re not getting enough sleep, then that means you’re not delivering enough oxygen to your blood. Your heart senses when this happens, and it ends up meaning you make more urine and are getting up more often at night.
The point is, if you are getting up at night often to pee, it’s not always a sign of prostate problems. If you’re getting up often to urinate at night, I am more concerned about your sleeping patterns than I am your prostate.
So what exactly is sleep apnea? When you sleep, you draw air in through your mouth. Behind your throat you have something called a uvula, which sits off to the side of your soft palette, and right next to your tonsils. Kids that have trouble sleeping, similarly have severe tonsil problems, as the tonsils are aggravated by a lack of oxygen while sleeping.
As you get older and particularly if you’re overweight and so have more tissue around this area, you’re basically just not able to get enough air in there. So, you’re just sucking in air through this area and it clogs up. When this happens you literally will jump out of bed, not being able to breathe. If this is happening to you, you need to go see a doctor and get a sleep study to find out exactly why this is happening.
There are things we can do to improve sleep apnea, but you’ll need to get diagnosed properly first.
If you’re overweight, then lose the weight, and your sleep troubles should go away by themselves. But smoking and drinking also increases sleep apnea. These habits can close the airways that allow you to sleep. So if you are having trouble sleeping, try getting rid of these habits.
Sleep apnea can be responsible for higher instances of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These ailments are all related to this one cause. Neurologically, sleep is one of the most important things to your health, so take this seriously and see your doctor immediately if you have these symptoms. If you’re not getting enough sleep, then you’re putting your body in a lot of trouble.
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