When we sleep, gravity and muscle relaxation allows the tongue and surrounding soft tissue to fall back into the throat area, collapsing the airway and obstructing air flow. This causes pauses in breathing which can occur hundreds of times per night, which dramatically reduces oxygen levels in the blood, straining the heart.
Your patient may have Sleep Apnea if they:
- Choke/gasp for air in your sleep
- Are tired during the day
- Have poor memory/forgetfulness
- Multiple nighttime bathroom trips
- Have headaches in the morning
Most of the time, the person sleeping is not aware of the breathing stoppages, but their body is, causing them to be tired during the day, which increases the risk of traffic accidents and work injuries.