What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when your breathing is interrupted during sleep . People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep , sometimes hundreds of times. This means your brain - and the rest of your body - may not get enough oxygen.
Types of Sleep Apnea
1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): Complete or partial upper airway obstruction during sleep; It is categorized as normal, mild, moderate or severe
2. Central sleep apnea: Respiratory control centers in the brain temporarily pause the muscles that control breathing
3. Mixed: A combination of OSA and central sleep apnea
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
- Waking up with a very sore or dry throat
- Loud snoring
- Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
- Sleepiness while driving
- Morning headaches
- Restless sleep
- Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
- Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
Why treat Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems, including:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart failure, irregular heartbeats and heart attacks
- Worsening of ADHD
In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents.
Treatment options for Sleep Apnea
- Lifestyle Changes: For mild OSA cases, a change in your behavior may reduce OSA. This includes losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills, changing sleep positions to improve breathing, stopping smoking and avoiding sleeping on your back.
- Continuous positive airway pressure ( CPAP ): It is a treatment in which a mask is worn over the nose and/or mouth while you sleep . The mask is hooked up to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air into the nose. This air flow helps keep the airways open so that breathing is regular. CPAP is the most common treatment for sleep apnea . Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT): The mandibular repositioning device (MAD) is becoming a more recognized and accepted treatment for OSA because of its noninvasive nature, high patient acceptance and better portability over a CPAP machine. Ask Dr. Andow if you would be a candidate for a MAD.
If you have a
deviated nasal septum, enlarged
or a small lower jaw with an
, surgery may help correct
- Nasal surgery: Correction of nasal problems such as a deviated septum
- Tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy: Removal of tonsils and/or adenoids to increase air flow
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): Removal of soft tissue on the back of the throat and palate, increasing the width of the airway at the opening of throat
- Maxillo-mandibular advancement surgery (MMA): Correction of certain facial problems or throat obstructions that contribute to sleep apnea