Sleep Apnea: Diagnosis and Treatment for Obstructive Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders

An important part of your daily functionality is making sure that you get quality sleep that can keep you energized throughout the day. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. These interruptions can occur multiple times throughout the night, leading to fragmented sleep and various health complications. Fortunately, people with sleep apnea can achieve restful sleep and improve their overall well-being with proper diagnosis and treatment.

Living With Sleep Apnea

You must seek help for sleep apnea as soon as possible. When left untreated, it can lead to severe complications. It’s important to be aware of common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea so that you know when to see your ENT doctor. You may want to talk to friends or family about noticing certain symptoms. Common signs include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Pauses in breath while sleeping
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating

The diagnosis of sleep apnea typically involves undergoing a sleep study. During a sleep study, various parameters are monitored, including breathing patterns, oxygen levels, heart rate, and brain activity, to assess the presence and severity of sleep apnea. Based on the results of the sleep study, your ENT doctor can determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Treatment will aim to improve airflow and prevent any breathing disruptions during sleep. There are several options for sleep apnea treatment. You should first make lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercising regularly, avoiding any alcohol or sedatives before bedtime, and sleeping on your side.

You may need a CPAP machine to deliver a continuous flow of air to help keep the airways open. Another option is using an oral appliance to reposition the jaw and tongue and keep the airway open.

Contact Your ENT Doctor Today

Don’t ignore signs of sleep apnea. Contact your ENT doctor to make sure you’re getting treated for your sleep apnea.


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