A sleep apnea diagnosis can only be delivered by a doctor certified in sleep medicine. Such a diagnosis may require several rounds of testing, starting with a sleep journal you keep yourself and continuing through a full night’s sleep under observation, at a designated site. Using information gathered by a full array of body sensors, our Thousand Oaks sleep apnea doctor can make a diagnosis and start talking treatment.
The most commonly-used weapon against sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, which is exerted using a regulator and mask. The mask keeps your airway open during sleep, while the regulator lowers blood pressure. Most cases see results with CPAP. However, the mask is an intrusion not all claustrophobes can handle. Alternative treatments include oral appliances, which look like ordinary mouth guards but either hold the tongue back or the jaw forward, depending on your physicality.
Another option if CPAP doesn’t work is the Winx system, which manipulates the soft palate and uvula to enlarge the upper airway.
Before prescribing CPAP for sleep apnea treatment, the doctor may suggest simple lifestyle fixes, like weight loss or quitting drinking or smoking. Personal habits inform your sleep schedule, and your body’s status while at rest, more than you know.
Sleep apnea patients suffer from a severe lack of sleep. The limited amount of air into the system leads to a deficiency of full REM cycle sleep, repeated waking during the night, and disruptive snoring. This lack of quality sleep can cause many symptoms and risks during the day, ranging from some minor issues such as moodiness, listlessness, and excessive hunger, to more serious issues such as heart complications and depression. So how do the experts at our sleep apnea center help provide relief for sleep apnea patients?
Some patients see success from simple lifestyle changes. Weight loss can create more space in the throat, allowing for more air to flow through. Changing the sleeping position, from lying on the back to on the side for example, may show some results, as well.
If more relief is needed, an oral appliance may be recommended. These mouth guard-like appliances are worn at night and shift the lower jaw, or both the lower jaw and tongue, forward. This repositions the muscles and tissues in the throat and allows for more space for air.
Many patients use CPAP machines, which stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure. This provides constant air into the system via tubes connected to the mouth and nose. Visit our expert today to learn more about effective sleep apnea relief tactics.
Sleep apnea is characterized by several breathing difficulties. The airway may be impacted by genetic factors, such as an overlarge tongue, or it may be compressed by body weight. Shortness of breath is often reported by sleep apnea sufferers, especially the overweight.
Sleep apnea researchers are divided on whether or not apnea can cause shortness of breath during the day, so you should tell your doctor if you have this. It may be indicative of a respiratory, autoimmune, or cardiac condition.
Shortness of breath can also be caused by reflux or esophageal spams. These are at least indirectly related to sleep apnea. If the patient is overweight, breathing difficulty may even lead to anxiety or panic attacks.
During sleep, the body will wake itself up if oxygen deprivation is detected. This process can happen as many as 30 times per hour of sleep in severe cases. Naturally, these constant interruptions leave the patient tired, irritable, and subject to headache during the day.
Causes of sleep apnea include obesity, drinking and smoking habits, neck circumference, and being male—sleep apnea is more common in men. Obviously, there are lifestyle changes you can make to get yourself out of the risk area. Try to lose weight, and try to quit smoking.
For information on sleep apnea centers, contact someone from our group.
Sleep apnea is a well-known condition with well-known symptoms. However, causes and treatments can cover a wide range of information. For starters, you should familiarize yourself with the three main types of sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea
This is the most common apnea, and afflicts approximately 4 percent of men and 2 percent of women. It is caused by partial or complete blockage of the airway during sleep. This reduces blood flow to the brain, which then wakes the body up in a kind of panic. Even if you do not wake fully, a sleep disturbance is registered. These tend to add up, sometimes occurring hundreds of times per night.
Central sleep apnea
Whereas obstructive sleep apnea is body-based, this particular sleep dysfunction is more brain-based. It has been linked to Parkinson’s and other diseases of the brainstem. Here, the sleep disturbance is caused by tiny, but consistent, cognitive short-circuits, which keep the brain from signaling the muscles that control airflow.
Mixed sleep apnea
Obviously, this is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apneas. A number of obstructive sleep apnea patients, after being treated with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machinery, tend to oddly develop symptoms of central sleep apnea. This is usually managed by adjusting settings on the CPAP machine to ensure the patient gets the lowest velocity of airflow.
Many patients are unaware that there are two different types of sleep apnea. The type that most are familiar with is obstructive sleep apnea, where muscles block air from coming through the airway passage, causing complications during sleep. The other type is central sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea is very different than obstructive. The muscles in the mouth and the throat are actually not factors at all in this case – it is actually much more complicated. Central sleep apnea concerns the brain, which stops the breathing function of the system while the patient sleeps.
Many of the symptoms, however, are the same. Patients will wake up dozens of times a night in order to prompt breathing again. Fatigue, listlessness, moodiness, and other behavioral changes are common due to the lack of REM sleep. If left untreated for too long, serious health issues and depression could arise.
Treatment for central sleep apnea usually employs CPAP machines. These are medium-sized devices that work to provide a constant stream of air into the nose and/or mouth, triggering the breathing process externally. This treatment is usually successful in eliminating the symptoms of central sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a disorder suffered by nearly eighteen million Americans today. That means one out of every fifteen people life their lives without the necessary amount of REM sleep, which can lead to headaches, weight gain, depression, and many other symptoms. Fortunately, experts frequently utilize several different types of treatments in order to supply oxygen through the air passageways and eliminate all symptoms.
One of these treatments is by using an oral appliance. Much like mouth guards, these appliances fit around the teeth, and are worn when the patient sleeps. They may feel uncomfortable at first, but are unnoticeable after some time, and much more simple than CPAP machines. Oral appliances work to push your jaw, or both your jaw and tongue, into a forward position. This affects the muscle sin the throat and air passageways, effectively keeping them open and allowing air through.
While not every patient sees success with oral appliances, many report back to our expert in sleep apnea oral appliances in Thousand Oaks that they now get much higher quality sleep and have seen their symptoms disappear.
If you think you have sleep apnea and can benefit from an oral appliance, call our office to schedule an appointment today.
Sleep apnea is a serious chronic sleep disorder that affects your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Most commonly, it is caused by an obstruction of the airways. Excess tissue in or near the throat collapses over the airway and partially or completely blocks it. When breathing stops, the brain wakes up briefly to reopen the airway. The result is that even though you may sleep eight hours a night, your body will not feel like you did. Our dentist in Huntington Beach can help.
Recognizing the symptoms of sleep apnea is the first step in getting diagnosed. Most commonly, people with obstructive sleep apnea snore loudly. Sleep apnea can also cause dry mouth, a sore throat, morning headaches, irritability, unrefreshing sleep, weight gain and insomnia. If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, further testing may be needed.
A physical exam and sleep diary can be helpful in obtaining a diagnosis. A sleep apnea test may also be recommended. This test is usually performed in a sleep lab or at your home, and during the test, your heart rate, blood oxygen levels and other biometrics will be monitored and recorded. Once this information is analyzed, a treatment plan can be created to alleviate your symptoms. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our sleep apnea dentist in Huntington Beach.