Dr. Avi Weisfogel is the owner of the International Academy of Sleep and an experienced sleep treatment expert. He also has over 15 years of experience operating his own dental practice. Other notable companies that he established include Owner Unlimited Sleep Patient and Healthy Heart Sleep.
Before starting his professional career, Dr. Avi Weisfogel earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. Afterward, he went on to pursue a degree in dentistry from New York University. Presently, however, Dr. Weisfogel spends most of his time devoted to working with dentists and sleep professional as part of the International Academy of Sleep.
What exactly is sleep apnea?
Essentially, it is a disorder that involves interrupted breathing while they sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form, involves the soft tissue at the back of the throat relaxing during sleep, which blocks the airway. This often leads to loud snoring. Central sleep apnea is less common and happens when the brain fails to signal the muscles that control breathing properly.
Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. All forms often lead to people waking up feeling as if they are choking and can even be lethal in certain cases.
What symptoms will people who suffer from this disorder exhibit?
There are quite a few that will take place. Some of the more common ones include loud snoring, gasping for air, and feeling exhausted after sleeping. Of course, everyone’s case will be different. I had patients that do not showcase any of these symptoms and those that display all of them plus more. It mostly depends on other factors like weight, lifestyle, eating habits, and so on.
How do you determine if someone has sleep apnea?
There are a few tests that can be done to diagnose people. Questionnaires are useful in determining one’s medical history. This is an important step because any previous sleep apnea in the family increases the risk. A patient’s sleeping habits are often discussed to determine if they are experiencing sleep apnea. Ultimately, the final confirmation comes from the testing that monitors the patient’s sleep. By reviewing the breathing patterns, heart rate, and other factors, we can make solid conclusions.
What treatment methods are there?
Usually, therapy starts with a discussion of the patient’s lifestyle and potential changes that need to be made. For instance, those that consume alcohol or drugs are advised to eliminate them entirely. Additionally, people that are classified as overweight or obese are given a diet that will help lose weight. After all, the majority of the sleep apnea cases are somehow connected to excessive eating.
How dangerous is sleep apnea?
Well, it can be deadly if left untreated for a long period of time. Sleep apnea is a condition caused by some problems with the throat muscles. The patient’s brain is either not sending the right signal, or those muscles are just weak. In either case, the breathing troubles are very likely to get worse with time. If that happens, the patient will find it nearly impossible to breathe.
Given how it occurs during their sleep, they may be in a life-threatening situation. This is why it is crucial that everyone who has sleeping issues pays a visit to their doctor. Even if it is something that has nothing to do with sleep apnea, knowing is the first step to overcoming the problem.
What is your advice for people who have problems with sleeping?
Create a schedule that will allow you to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This establishes a pattern that your body will get accustomed to. If you switch your sleeping time every night, it will be nearly impossible to get proper rest. Also, aim for no less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep. If you are unable to do so, try getting some sleep during the day to make up the difference. Ultimately, avoid consuming high-calorie food right before bed.