Estimates reveal that over ten million people in the United States suffer from a serious sleep disorder. What is sleep apnea? Obstructive sleep apnea (also known as OSA) can cause difficulty breathing during sleep and cause the patient to wake up multiple times a night, even if they have no memory of this. Fortunately, there are treatment options to help you finally obtain a good night’s rest.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea
Question: What causes this sleep disorder?
Answer: Patients may develop sleep apnea due to a number of factors, including obesity or stress. The disorder occurs when the soft tissues in the throat become overly relaxed, blocking airflow. The brain becomes deprived of oxygen when the patient stops breathing. The patient wakes up to start breathing again, but will have no memory of this, even though many sufferers wake hundreds of times a night.
Question: How do I know if I need treatment?
Answer: Common warning signs of OSA include snoring, daytime exhaustion, waking up gasping for air or choking, depression, or difficulty concentrating during the day. If you recognize one or more of these warning signs, then contact your doctor right away for a diagnosis or to discuss treatment options.
Question: What happens if I ignore the problem?
Answer: Without treatment, sleep apnea can cause patients to develop high blood pressure. Increases in blood pressure can boost the risk of developing stroke or heart attack. Not treating the issue can have a negative impact on your overall health.
Question: What are my treatment options?
Answer: In most cases we will recommend an oral appliance. The device will look similar to a nightguard but will be much more complex. When worn during sleep the device moves the jaw forward slightly, enough to keep the throat tissue from blocking airflow. The patient can breathe; reducing symptoms of sleep apnea and helping patients sleep better.
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