Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person stops breathing for short periods of time during sleep. People with sleep apnea often snore loudly. Sleep apnea can cause daytime sleepiness, moodiness, and irritability. It can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common type. It occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax and block the airway. Central sleep apnea happens when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
There are many different causes of sleep apnea. The most common cause is obesity. People who are overweight are more likely to have sleep apnea because they have excess tissue in the back of their throats that can block the airway. Other causes of sleep apnea include smoking, alcohol use, sedatives, and nasal problems.
If your doctor suspects you have sleep apnea, they will likely refer you to a sleep specialist. A sleep specialist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. They will likely ask you about your symptoms and medical history. They may also recommend that you have a sleep study. A sleep study is a test that is done overnight in a sleep laboratory. During a sleep study, you will be monitored while you sleep. The sleep study can help your doctor determine if you have sleep apnea and how severe it is.
There are many ways that you can stop sleep apnea. Some people may need to use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. This is a treatment that uses mild air pressure to keep your breathing airways open. A CPAP machine increases the air pressure in your throat so that your breathing passages don’t collapse when you inhale. In addition, others may only need to make lifestyle changes. If you are overweight, losing weight can help to reduce your risk of sleep apnea. Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can also help.
If you smoke, quitting smoking can also reduce your risk of sleep apnea. Alcohol and sedatives should be avoided as they can make sleep apnea worse. If you have trouble sleeping, try to establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine can also help you get a good night’s sleep.
Other treatment options for sleep apnea include using mouthpieces, specific breathing devices, and having surgery. For example, surgery can be an option for people who have sleep apnea that is severe or does not respond to other treatments. There are several different types of surgery for sleep apnea, including uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), maxillomandibular advancement (MMA), and tracheostomy.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can have harmful consequences if left untreated. If you or someone you love is struggling with sleep apnea, don’t wait to get help. Contact us today at Renova Smiles and we’ll be happy to discuss your options with you. We’re here to help you get the treatment you need so you can start getting the restful sleep you deserve.