What is Sleep Apnea?

What Is Sleep Apnea…and Are You at Risk?

Sleep apnea affects over 18 million Americans, and if someone has ever told you that you snore, snort, or make choking sounds in your sleep, you might be one of them. The symptoms of sleep apnea are caused when the body tries to breathe, but the airway is closed off— and every time this occurs, the brain shocks the body awake to restart the breathing process. However, part of what makes sleep apnea so dangerous is that the time spent awake is so short that most sleep apnea sufferers don’t remember being awake at all, and the constant process of being awakened by lack of oxygen prevents you from getting the deep sleep your brain and body needs.

The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Although sleep apnea is very common, it is also very serious, meaning that you should make an appointment with us if you exhibit any of the following symptoms:

Insomnia or difficulty sleeping

Loud snoring at night

Waking up in the middle of the night with shortness of breath

Making snorting or choking sounds while you sleep, which is an indicator that your body is restarting your breathing

Waking up in the morning with a headache

Feeling sleepy throughout the day, or even falling asleep unintentionally

The Types of Sleep Apnea

You might be surprised to learn that there are different types of sleep apnea: three, to be exact. They are:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (or OSA), which occurs when the airway is partially or completely obstructed.

Central Sleep Apnea, which is less common and occurs when your brain fails to send the signal that tells your body to breathe.

Mixed (or Complex) Sleep Apnea, which is a mix of Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea Risk Factors

Sleep apnea affects more men than women, and is most common in people over 40. Other risk factors include:



High Blood Pressure

Frequent Use of Alcohol

Frequent Use of Tranquilizers and Sedatives

A Family History of Sleep Apnea

Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

In a word, yes. The most noticeable symptom of sleep apnea is a frequent drowsy feeling that can interfere with your ability to live a happy, productive life and impede your ability to drive safely. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, which can cause other serious conditions, like stroke and heart disease.


The dental office of Dr. John Carson is committed to helping sufferers of sleep apnea regain control of their condition and live a healthier, happier lives. Call us or contact us online to easily schedule an appointment at our Tucson office.

Keeping Our Patients Safe and Healthy at John R. Carson D.D.S., P.C.

Dear Patients,

As all of you know, our vision here at John R. Carson D.D.S., P.C. is to partner with patients to achieve the best for their long-term oral and overall health. We are honored to serve you. In light of current coronavirus/COVID-19 concerns affecting the world and an order from the Arizona Governor we, like all dental offices in Arizona, are closed for anything other than dental emergencies until April 3rd.

If you have a dental emergency, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are committed now and always to your needs.

The offices of John R. Carson D.D.S., P.C. continues to employ the most up-to-date infection control procedures and our record proves that they work really well! Rest assured that the infection control and standard precautions that we always employed are excellent deterrents to COVID-19 and every other virus. In addition to the routine steps we take, we are being even more vigilant of all the areas in the office. Surfaces in the reception area, front desk area, consultation area and restroom, which would normally be cleaned and disinfected daily, are now being disinfected throughout the day. Hand sanitizer is readily available in all areas of the practice for your use.

During this confusing and stressful time, staying healthy helps you fight off any challenge! Know that we take our role as your healthcare partner very seriously and are here to help! For the latest information and guidance, please refer to the CDC’s COVID-19 situation webpage, the Department of Public Health website, or ADA.

Stay safe and healthy—we look forward to seeing you soon.