Posts for tag: Sleep Apnea
Occasional snoring is normal, but if you are being told you snore loudly every night, you could have something else. You could have sleep apnea, a sleep condition that can have serious consequences and can even shorten your life. Your ENT specialist is an expert at treating snoring and sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is caused by the intermittent relaxing of the tissue at the back of your throat. The relaxed tissue partially or completely blocks your airway while you sleep, depriving your body of oxygen.
Your brain, heart, and other vital organs are affected by the lack of blood flow, putting you at greater risk of:
- Developing heart disease
- Having a stroke
- Developing diabetes
- Acquiring memory problems
You are at greater risk of developing sleep apnea as you age, and if you are overweight. You may have sleep apnea if you are experiencing:
- Waking up with a gasping or choking sensation
- Headaches and a sore throat when you awaken
- Feeling fatigued and tired during the day
- Grogginess and problems concentrating
Your ENT specialist will need to have you do a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. If you have sleep apnea, your ENT specialist will discuss treatment options with you, which can include:
A CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine; is a device that produces a continuous supply of oxygen. You breathe the oxygen through a facepiece, which you wear while sleeping.
An oral mandibular advancement appliance; is a small appliance that fits over your teeth and holds your lower jaw forward, keeping your airway open while you sleep.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that can go untreated. If you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above, or if your family members tell you about your snoring, take it seriously. It’s time to call your ENT specialist for a sleep study to see if you are suffering from sleep apnea. To find out more about sleep apnea signs, symptoms, and treatment, call your ENT specialist today.
Could your snoring be a sign that you have this common sleep disorder?
Dragging yourself out of bed in the morning. Walking like a zombie to the coffee pot. Pounding coffee to try to clear the brain fog. Falling asleep at your desk. Feeling easily annoyed with everyone around you. Finding out from your partner that you were snoring loudly, again. If this sounds like you, it might be time to visit an ENT doctor for a sleep apnea evaluation.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes pauses in breathing throughout the night due to tissue collapsing in the back of the throat, which blocks airflow. This limited airflow and oxygen to the brain can lead to various health problems over time, some of which can be dangerous if sleep apnea is left untreated. The National Sleep Foundation reports that as many as 85 percent of people with sleep apnea don’t even know they have it.
What Are the Warning Signs?
You could have sleep apnea if you are dealing with,
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Gasping for breath or choking sounds
- Restless sleep
- Morning headaches
- Daytime fatigue despite getting enough sleep
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Brain fog
- Falling asleep at your desk or behind the wheel
- Needing a nap to get through the day
- Increased irritability
- Decreased sex drive
When Should I Turn to an Ent Doctor?
Most people seek an ENT doctor for an evaluation because their partner is complaining about their loud snoring, night after night. Of course, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it’s worth turning to an ENT specialist for a proper evaluation to determine if you could have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a sleep study, which you may be able to complete from the comfort of home. If you suspect sleep apnea in yourself or someone you love, it’s vital that you schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
CPAP therapy is still the standard way to treat obstructive sleep apnea, requiring the individual to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while sleeping. During the night, the mask pumps pressurized air into the airways to keep them open. CPAP much be worn every night.
Mild to moderate forms of obstructive sleep apnea may also be treated with a simple oral appliance to keep airways open while you sleep. This device may also benefit individuals who aren’t candidates for CPAP therapy.
While surgery can also be used to treat sleep apnea, before considering surgery, you may want to consider the newest sleep apnea treatment—a subdermal device that is placed directly under the skin and you turn on and control with a remote. You turn it on before going to bed, and the device will stimulate the muscles of the airways to keep them open.
If you suspect that you might have sleep apnea, you must turn to an ENT doctor who can perform the appropriate tests and provide you with an immediate diagnosis so you can get the treatment you need. You’ll be amazed at the relief you feel and how refreshed you can feel day in and day out when your sleep apnea is fully controlled.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders and yet it’s one that isn’t as often diagnosed since most people don’t even know that they have it. When someone has sleep apnea the airways collapse multiple times throughout the night. As a result, this causes interrupted breathing. Since not enough oxygen is getting to the brain you can imagine the many health issues this problem could cause if left untreated.
So, what are some telltale signs that you have sleep apnea?
One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is loud snoring. While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, most sleep apnea sufferers are also frequent snorers. Along with snoring, your partner may also notice that you might gasp for air in the middle of the night or that your breathing is paused.
The sleep apnea sufferer will complain of extreme fatigue throughout the day. Even if you get enough sleep you may still find it difficult to get out of bed (or you may experience headaches in the morning). While most people feel tired at some point during the day, a true sleep apnea sufferer has intense exhaustion that doesn’t seem to let up.
Sleep apnea can make it more difficult for you to concentrate. You may find that you aren’t able to complete work as efficiently as you should. You may nod off at your desk or while driving home from work. Sleep apnea can be dangerous because it can increase your risk of injury.
How is sleep apnea treated?
It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent health complications and other issues from happening. The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. By placing this facemask over your nose and mouth as you sleep, it provides enough air pressure to keep the airways open and to prevent them from collapsing. This is the number one treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea.
Of course, sometimes an oral appliance device is all that you need if you only have minor or moderate sleep apnea. This device is custom-made to fit your mouth and can be used on its own or along with CPAP therapy to help you enjoy a better night’s sleep.
If you think you might have sleep apnea it’s important that you get this evaluated as soon as possible. Talk to our ENT doctor about how we can help you.