How is Sleep Apnea Treated?

Do you feel tired during the day even though you got a full night’s sleep? Does your partner often complain that you snore excessively? These are just a couple of signs of sleep apnea, a serious, chronic condition that inhibits your ability to reach deep, restorative sleep.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that prevents your body from achieving its natural sleep cycle that is vital to restorative sleep. The disorder causes you stop breathing for a few seconds up to a minute or more and can happen as many as 30 times an hour. Sleep apnea treatment is vital to correcting this serious condition.

Chronic snoring and loud choking noises are indicators that you may have sleep apnea. Without sleep apnea treatment, you could be at risk of developing health problems such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Higher risk of having an auto accident

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the condition. It occurs when airways collapse or become blocked while sleeping. Many sleep apnea treatment options are available to those who suffer from this disorder, treating the underlying causes of the condition and reducing snoring.

What Are the Causes of Sleep Apnea?

Anatomy, lifestyle, and health factors all play a part in causing sleep apnea. These factors include:

  • Having a deviated nasal septum
  • Having an enlarged tongue with inadequate muscle tone
  • Having too much tissue in the soft palate
  • Having large tonsils
  • Being overweight
  • Suffering from nasal allergies
  • Suffering from chronic sinusitis
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol close to bedtime

There are many symptoms of sleep apnea, including:

  • Excessively loud snoring
  • Extreme sleepiness and lethargy during the day
  • Headaches
  • Waking up after choking or gasping for air
  • Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fuzzy memory
  • Mood swings, depression, or irritability

Most people are unaware they are experiencing sleep apnea symptoms until their spouse or partner alerts them. If you notice you are suffering from any of these symptoms, see a physician for sleep apnea treatment.

What Are Sleep Apnea Treatment Options?

The first step in sleep apnea treatment is taking part in a sleep study overseen by an ENT to evaluate your sleep over the course of a night. If the ENT diagnoses you with the condition, there are several different treatment options depending on the severity of your symptoms. These include:

  • Propping up on pillows while sleeping
  • Sleeping on your side
  • Weight loss
  • Eliminating tobacco use
  • Eliminating the use of sedatives or alcohol before bed

For more severe cases, your doctor may recommend the following treatments:

  • Using a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) that delivers a steady stream of air into the airways to keep them open during sleep
  • Using an oral appliance tailored to moving your lower jaw forward and stabilizing the tongue to keep airways open

If these less invasive treatments are ineffective, surgery may be the best treatment option. Surgical remedies may include removing the tonsils, adenoids, soft palate tissue, or performing sinus surgery to open up airways.

Visit Lakeside Allergy ENT for Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment

If you think you may have sleep apnea, the board-certified doctors at Lakeside Allergy ENT can diagnose and treat your condition at one of our three sleep centers in Wylie, Forney, and Rockwall. Our ENTs will recommend the best sleep apnea treatment for you, including lifestyle changes, CPAP therapy, or if necessary, surgery. Contact us today for an appointment or browse our website for more information on sleep apnea symptoms and treatment.

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