Your Guide to Sleep Apnea

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that impacts your ability to breathe overnight. This is because OSA causes your throat muscles to collapse and block your airway while you sleep. You’ll automatically wake up every time your flow of oxygen is cut off, sometimes without even realizing it. This pattern can repeat up to 30 times per hour, preventing you from receiving the quality rest you need.

How Do I Know if I Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can lead to serious consequences without treatment, including weight gain, cardiovascular issues, and more. Visit a qualified sleep doctor immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Loud, disruptive snoring
  • Choking or gasping for air overnight
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Lack of energy/motivation
  • Dry mouth, sore throat, and/or headaches in the morning
  • Short attention span/memory problems
  • Sudden mood shifts
  • Decreased libido

Testing for Sleep Apnea

The only way to determine if you have sleep apnea is to undergo a sleep test, either in a monitored setting or using a device that you take home. Once your test is complete, a qualified sleep specialist can evaluate your results and provide you with an accurate diagnosis.

My Airway

During normal sleep, the muscles
that control the tongue and
soft palate hold
the airway open.
When these muscles relax,
the airway narrows. This can lead
to snoring and
breathing difficulties.
If the muscles relax too much,
the airway can collapse and
become blocked,
obstructing your flow of oxygen.
   

 Treatment Options

If your test shows that you suffer from sleep apnea, your doctor will likely recommend that you use a CPAP mask. Worn while you sleep, this device pumps a continuous flow of pressurized air into your lungs, keeping your airway open and allowing you to breathe without interruption.

CPAP is effective when used properly, but many patients find it too disruptive and stop using it. The most common complaints are that it’s uncomfortable to wear and makes too much noise.

For patients who feel this way, we can customize an oral appliance to relieve your snoring and other sleep apnea symptoms. Silent, comfortable, and easily portable, these appliances subtly shift your lower jaw forward to keep your airway open and prevent obstruction.

We’ll also recommend that you make some lifestyle changes to maintain your health. This can include eating a more balanced diet, exercising regularly, and more. If you’re overweight, shedding those extra pounds can make a noticeable difference in your symptoms.

 

Visit Dr. Sager for Sleep Apnea Treatment

If you fit any of the previously listed symptoms, it’s a good idea to take a sleep test and get a proper diagnosis. If you suffer from sleep apnea, neglecting to seek treatment can lead to devastating consequences for your health.

Contact our practice in Hewitt and schedule a consultation today.

 

 

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