Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea and Treatments
Although the condition might go unnoticed, you might experience episodes of difficulties breathing and snoring at night. However, such a health issue can be diagnosed with the help of a person within your household.
There are three types of sleep apnea which include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea. The sleep condition is common among many people. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your upper throat muscles contract during sleep.
- Central sleep apnea. Such a sleeping condition occurs as a result of your brain failing to send proper signals to muscles that control breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome. The condition is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea. However, complex sleep apnea syndrome is rare.
In case you suspect you have sleep apnea, you can consider contacting your doctor or dentist for treatments.
What Are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is characterized by loud snoring and shortness of breath during sleep. However, you might experience other warning signs and symptoms that include:
- Episodes whereby you stop breathing during sleep
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Headaches when you wake up
- Lack of concentration during the day
- Daytime sleepiness
Although snoring is one of the major symptoms of sleep apnea, not all people with the condition snore. Therefore, you should consider visiting an ENT in Palm Beach
, 33458, for sleep apnea diagnosis and treatments.
Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Causes
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when muscles in the back of your throat relax. When the muscles relax, the airway narrows or closes, causing shortness of breath.
Some of the factors that increase your risk of developing sleep apnea include:
- Excessive weight since fat deposits around your neck can obstruct your throat
- Narrow airway
- Age, whereby sleep apnea is common among aged people
- Use of alcohol, tranquilizers, and sedatives since they can relax your throat muscles, narrowing the airway
- Nasal congestion, whereby you are likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea if you have difficulties breathing
- Smoking since smoke is like to increase inflammation and fluid retention in your throat
Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea
When you notice sleep apnea symptoms, you should consider seeking professional care services. At our clinic, Dr. Mark T. Agrama will review your symptoms first before recommending treatments. However, it is advisable to have a relative come with you to the dental clinic. For further diagnosis, your specialist might recommend the following tests:
Nocturnal polysomnography is a test that utilizes a device that monitors your heart, lung, and brain activity. The device also monitors your breathing pattern, limb movements, and blood oxygen levels.
Home Sleep Tests
Your specialist might recommend at-home tests to diagnose sleep apnea. At-home tests check for your heart rate, blood oxygen level, and breathing patterns. If the tests are abnormal, your doctor will recommend treatment without the need for more tests.
Treatment of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
After diagnosing sleep apnea and snoring, your specialist will recommend treatments, depending on the severity of your condition. If you have mild symptoms of sleep apnea, your specialist might recommend lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes can include sleep apnea and breathing exercises, weight loss, and avoid drinking and smoking.
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, your doctor might recommend the following treatments:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
If you suffer moderate to severe sleep apnea, this device might be helpful. The CPAP device delivers air during sleep, keeping your airway open and prevent sleep apnea and snoring.
When you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, the dentist might recommend treatments such as oral appliances. The nightguards keep your throat open at night, preventing breathing difficulties during sleep.
If you have central sleep apnea, supplementary oxygen might be helpful. Your dentist might recommend some devices to get oxygen to your lungs.
Treating the Causes
Some of the causes of sleep apnea include circulatory and neuro-muscular problems. To treat central sleep apnea, our doctor at South Florida ENT Associates might refer you to a specialist for such conditions.
Surgery is the last treatment your doctor would recommend if you sleep apnea. However, if you have severe sleep apnea, your doctor might recommend surgery to remove some tissue that causes blockage and jaw repositioning to keep the airway open.