How To Get Relief From Sleep Apnea

How To Get Relief From Sleep Apnea

Posted by Dr. Craig Cardon on Jun 13 2023, 09:26 AM

Do you often wake up feeling tired and groggy, despite getting a full night's sleep? Do you snore loudly or experience pauses in breathing while sleeping? If so, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. This common disorder affects millions of people worldwide and can have serious health consequences if left untreated. But don't worry – relief is possible! 

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night. It can affect anyone, but it is most common in middle-aged adults who are overweight or obese. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles at the back of your throat fail to keep your airway open during sleep. This causes you to snore loudly and wake up gasping for air multiple times throughout the night.

Central sleep apnea happens when your brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control your breathing while sleeping. Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, there is no blockage in the airway with central sleep apnea.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (CSAS), also known as Treatment Emergent Central Sleep Apnoea (TECSA), combines both Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA).

If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and depression. However, effective treatments like CPAP machines or oral appliances can significantly improve symptoms and help you get a good night's rest again.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It's important to recognize the symptoms, so you can address it and potentially prevent further health complications down the road.

One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring. However, just because someone snores doesn't necessarily mean they have sleep apnea. Other symptoms include gasping for air or choking during sleep, waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, feeling excessively sleepy during the day, trouble concentrating or remembering things, and morning headaches.

It's important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea experiences all these symptoms. Some individuals may only experience one or two, while others might have several.

In addition to these physical symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), there are also psychological effects such as irritability, anxiety, and depression that can be linked to this disorder as well.

If you suspect, you may have sleep apnea based on any of these symptoms - particularly if they're affecting your daily life – consult your doctor for an evaluation. Early detection and treatment of OSA can help improve quality-of-life outcomes in those affected by this condition.

Causes of Sleep Apnea

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of sleep apnea. One common cause is excess weight or obesity, as this can lead to an increase in fatty tissue around the neck area and put pressure on the airway during sleep.

Another potential cause of sleep apnea is a naturally narrow airway, which may be inherited or due to physical characteristics such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Additionally, certain lifestyle habits such as smoking or alcohol consumption can also irritate the throat muscles and worsen sleep apnea symptoms.

Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes have also been linked to higher rates of sleep apnea. This may be due in part to the fact that these conditions often involve inflammation and swelling throughout the body, including in the tissues surrounding the airway.

Age and gender may also play a role in developing sleep apnea. Men over 40 years old are at a higher risk than women for this condition, although post-menopausal women with low estrogen levels are more likely to develop it as well.

There is no single definitive cause of sleep apnea - rather, it tends to result from a combination of various factors unique to each individual case.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

There are several treatment options available for sleep apnea, ranging from lifestyle changes to medical interventions. The most effective treatment plan will depend on the severity and type of sleep apnea.

One of the most common treatments is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. This involves wearing a mask over your nose or mouth while you sleep, which delivers a steady stream of air to keep your airways open throughout the night.

Another option is oral appliances, such as mouthguards or splints, that can help prevent the tongue from blocking the airway during sleep. These devices can be custom-fitted by a dentist or orthodontist.

For those with mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea, lifestyle changes such as losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed, and sleeping on your side instead of your back may also be effective in reducing symptoms.

Surgery may also be an option for some people with more severe cases of sleep apnea. Procedures such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) or maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) aim to remove excess tissue in the throat or reposition the jaw to improve breathing during sleep.

It's important to talk to a doctor about which treatment options are right for you based on your specific case of sleep apnea. With proper diagnosis and management, relief from this condition is possible.

Remember that getting quality, restful sleep is essential for good health. By taking steps to manage your sleep apnea, you'll be able to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever challenges come your way!

If you are looking for an expert dentist, go nowhere. Visit Table Mountain at 6410 Miller St #15, Arvada, CO 80004. Contact us at (720) 749-2711 for any questions or concerns you have. Also, schedule an appointment online to visit us. 

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