Have you been told by your partner that you snore during sleep? Did you often wake up tired and sleepy, even after a full night’s sleep? If yes, then you may be suffering from sleep apnea. However, there is no need to worry, as you’re not alone. About 18 million people in the United States are suffering from some form of sleep apnea. More importantly, this condition can be easily managed with proper care and appropriate treatment.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Apnea refers to a condition where there is a temporary cessation of breathing. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which there breathing repeatedly stops and resumes. As a result, there are phases during sleep where the cessation of breathing results in insufficient supply of oxygenated blood to the brain and the other essential body organs. This situation can have serious effects on physical health and quality of life.
What are the Different Types of Sleep Apnea?
Healthcare professionals recognize three different forms of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive – this type of apnea occurs when the muscles of the throat get relaxed, and the tongue falls back on them, thereby limiting airflow to the airway during sleep.
- Central – this type of sleep apnea arises when the brain sends erratic signals to the muscles which control the airway and breathing. As a result, there is a frequent pause in breathing during sleep.
- Complex – in this type, sleep apnea occurs due to a combination of obstructive and central causes. It is also known as the treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.
What is the Cause of Sleep Apnea?
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, there are several risk factors which are associated with sleep apnea:
- The small diameter of airway – it restricts optimal airflow.
- Obesity – increased fat deposits around the neck create difficulty in breathing during sleep.
- Enlargement of tonsils – enlargement of the tonsils in the neck region can also create problems in breathing during sleep.
- Hormonal disorders – these include hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and acromegaly (excessively enlarged skull).
- Heart of kidney failure – This happens due to excessive fluid build-up around the neck, as a result of inefficient functioning of the heart or the kidneys.
- Genetic factors – these may include cleft lip and palate, Down’s syndrome and congenital central hypoventilation syndrome.
- Premature birth – babies born before 37 months of pregnancy have a higher risk of having breathing issues.
- Neuromuscular problems – conditions which affect the signals which are sent from the brain to the breathing muscles can also increase the risk of sleep apnea.
What is the Treatment of Sleep Apnea?
Treatment of sleep apnea can be done at your Newington CT 06111 sleep dentist which involves removing the underlying cause. Some of the treatment options include:
- Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle – regular exercise and a balanced diet are quite helpful in the management of obesity-induced sleep apnea.
- Breathing Devices – these devices generate a positive pressure that helps in breathing normally.
- Oral Sleep Appliances (OSA) – According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, these are one of the most effective options for treating sleep apnea. They are also easier to use in comparison to breathing appliances. These devices are custom-made prostheses which are worn during sleep. They work by ensuring the patency of the airway. These are of two types:
- Mandibular Repositioning Appliance – this appliance forces the mandibular to rest in a forward position, thereby opening the airway.
- Tongue Retaining Devices – these devices prevent the tongue from falling back and blocking the airway.
- Physiotherapy – this therapy improves tongue positioning and also strengthens the muscles which are involved in breathing.
- Surgery – this is usually the last resort and is performed to treat complex cases which cannot be managed through a conservative approach.
If you feel that you or one of your loved ones has sleep apnea, then you should not wait and visit your Green Meadow Dental conveniently located at 3579B Berlin Turnpike, Newington, CT 06111-5136. For inquiries or to schedule an appointment, contact them via phone at (860) 865-0056 or via email at info@localhost.
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We accept most major insurance plans and participates with many PPOs. They also offer several financing options through Compassionate Finance and Care Credit and iCare. We are open late evenings until 8pm and Saturdays
Sleep apnea is a serious condition which results in long-term complications and adverse health effects such as high blood pressure, anger, anxiety, heart problems, and erectile dysfunction. The good news is that sleep apnea can be easily managed, especially when diagnosed earlier.