Eastside Family Health Center
Internal Medicine & Sports Medicine located in Kirkland, WA
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) not only affects your sleep quality but can increase your risk of major diseases like diabetes and stroke and cause dangerous daytime sleepiness. Frank Marinkovich, MD, at Eastside Family Health Center in Kirkland, Washington, works with a specialist sleep service to assess and manage OSA. Dr. Marinkovich also offers OSA assessments for commercial drivers and airmen. To find out more, call Eastside Family Health Center today or book an appointment online.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Q&A
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition where a physical blockage in your airway interferes with your breathing when you're asleep. A similar disorder is central sleep apnea, which is a neurological problem.
Some people have mixed sleep apnea, where both types are present, but OSA is the most common form of sleep apnea.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you wake repeatedly throughout the night for brief intervals because you stop breathing. Every time a blockage stops your breathing, your brain wakes you to restart your breathing. This could happen as many as 100 times or even more each night.
The constant waking and lack of oxygen that obstructive sleep apnea causes can have a significant impact on your health.
What symptoms does obstructive sleep apnea cause?
One of the challenges with OSA is that you could be unaware of the disorder because the primary symptoms occur when you're asleep.
Even though you're waking frequently, because these periods are so brief, you're unlikely to remember them the next day. Often, it's a partner who notices your breathing issues.
The effects of OSA do offer clues to your condition, though. These include:
- Constant fatigue
- Extreme sleepiness during the day
- Loud snoring
- Snorting as you wake
- Dry mouth in the mornings
- Headaches upon waking
- Memory loss and problems concentrating
- High blood pressure
Eastside Family Health Center partners directly with a specialized sleep company locally to assess, test, and refer patients suspected of having OSA. They monitor your sleep to see how often you're waking and whether your body is short of oxygen during the night.
Why should I be worried about obstructive sleep apnea?
The immediate effects of OSA can have a significant impact on your quality of life, but there are longer-term issues you need to be aware of as well.
Unmanaged OSA can increase your risk of serious problems like:
- Congestive heart failure
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol
- Fatty liver disease
- Adult asthma
- Weakened immune system
The daytime sleepiness OSA causes can also make you fall asleep at dangerous times, for example, when you're driving. As of 2015, the federal government requires OSA assessment for all commercial drivers and airmen.
Eastside Family Health Center's unique partnership with local sleep specialists enables them to speed up access to assessments for OSA and clear airmen and drivers for duty. They can also do expedited assessments, if necessary.
If you're a firefighter, you may have a higher risk of OSA because of the nature of your work, so an OSA assessment could benefit you.
For more information on arranging your OSA assessment, call Eastside Family Health Center today or book an appointment online.