Affecting 22 million Americans, sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder today. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, SMILE & CO. is the place to come for help.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
What is Sleep Apnea?
Apnea is the cessation, or “stopping” of breathing – most often caused by an obstruction to the airway.
Sleep apnea refers to this occurring at night, while you sleep. Essentially, it means that one is not breathing correctly while sleeping.
Have you ever heard someone snoring louder than a truck? Or seen someone struggle to breathe at night? Maybe you wake up still feeling exhausted and like you haven’t slept in a year. These can all be signs of sleep apnea.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
For those that have sleep apnea, a partner or family member may notice a prolonged, loud snoring for periods of time, along with periodic interruptions of sleep.
They may even hear or see signs of gasping or choking while sleeping which cause them to awake suddenly.
These are telltale signs that the person may have sleep apnea.
Other markers of signs of sleep apnea can be the way you, your partner or family member feel when they awake.
A short attention span, trouble paying attention, general irritability, dry mouth and even a sore throat can be a result of sleep apnea.
Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep are also signs that someone may have sleep apnea.
Those that suffer from sleep apnea may not even know it. They may just “feel” like something is not right and because this disorder is so common, may think that it is caused by something else.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
Depending on the level of sleep apnea diagnosed, treatment options can include following a new diet, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and other lifestyle changes.
For some, an oral appliance may be part of their treatment plan. This is known as OAT, and is a night guard that is worn while sleeping. This device shifts the jaw forward, opening the airway, making it possible to sleep without obstruction.
In severe cases, a device called a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) may be used to pump a stream of positively pressurized air into the lungs as you sleep. This device prevents the tissue in the airway from sagging and blocking the airway, allowing you to sleep through the night.
Sleep apnea can have a tremendous effect on people. From being tired to generally irritable, it can wreak havoc on one’s daily activities.
If you suspect that you or someone you love has sleep apnea, we recommend that they come in for an evaluation and treatment. Treated effectively, they can sleep better throughout the night, and live a fuller life.