Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can prevent you from getting the rest your body needs every day. There are different types of sleep apnea, and determining which type you are experiencing can guide your treatment path.
This form of sleep apnea develops when your body and brain fail to properly communicate. This can cause abnormal changes in the muscles that control breathing functions.
By far the most common, this type of sleep apnea develops when the muscles in your throat relax to the point they impede normal breathing.
This type of sleep apnea is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.
Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause or contribute to many different health problems and can severely impact your daily quality of life.
Many people who have sleep apnea suffer for years before they are properly diagnosed. Knowing what to look for can help you determine when to seek treatment.
Some of the signs of sleep apnea include:
As you can see, many of these symptoms only occur while you’re asleep. In many cases, your sleep partner is aware there is a problem even before you are and will report issues like loud snoring or gasping for air during the night.
Fortunately, there are treatments that can improve your nighttime breathing and help you get a restful night’s sleep. One of the most common ways to treat sleep apnea is with an oral appliance worn during sleep.
These custom-made devices fit inside your mouth like a night guard or sports guard. They create a slight change in the positioning of your lower jaw, bringing it forward to relieve snoring and prevent your throat from closing during sleep.
A system called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) can help by slightly increasing the air pressure in your airways during sleep. This altered pressure prevents your muscles from relaxing and blocking your breathing. It takes a bit of time to get used to using a CPAP device, but the results can be well worth the effort.
If you’re concerned about snoring and other sleep disruptions and would like to learn more about sleep apnea diagnostics and treatment, call or click to set up a personalized consultation today.