Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can keep your body from getting the needed oxygen and rest it needs. It occurs when the airway becomes obstructed while you sleep. This can happen for several reasons, but it is generally associated with the natural relaxation of the throat muscles that occurs when you sleep. As your throat muscles relax along with your other muscles, any excess tissues or having a narrow airway can create a situation in which the breathing becomes completely obstructed. Proper diagnosis and treatment is needed to maintain proper breathing while you sleep.
Available treatments may include:
• Sleep apnea machine
This machine maintains positive air pressures to keep your airways open. The air will be gently blown through a mask that is placed over your nose and mouth for minimal disruption to your routine.
• Sleep apnea oral appliances
Oral appliances are similar in design to night guards and are frequently used to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. They fit in the mouth and adjust the position of the lower jaw, which keeps the soft tissues from collapsing over the throat.
• Lifestyle changes
Weight loss, the cessation of smoking or certain medications, and other lifestyle changes may be necessary for some patients.
If conservative treatments are not effective or well-tolerated, some patients may benefit from surgical treatments.
If you have loud or chronic snoring, daytime sleepiness or other symptoms of sleep apnea, we can help. To properly determine the best treatments to ease your symptoms, a sleep study will be recommended. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment.