Do you often wake up groggy in the morning? Does your spouse complain of constant snoring at night, to the point where they’re forced onto the couch or into the guest room? Do you experience unexplained headaches or have problems concentrating during the day? If so, you might be experiencing the effects of sleep apnea. Many people suffer from this condition without even realizing it, which prevents them from getting the medical attention they need. The following information can help you understand this disorder, while also explaining how sleep apnea clinics can help.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
People with sleep apnea repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night, which causes them to awake abruptly in an effort to draw in a breath. This condition can actually occur in a few different ways:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Muscles in the airways and throat often relax at night. In some people, this causes the airways to completely close, whi
- Central Sleep Apnea – This type of sleep apnea isn’t caused by airway blockages. Instead, your brain fails to properly signal the muscles responsible for breathing, which leaves you short of breath. People with central sleep apnea also experience insomnia frequently or can’t stay asleep through the night.
- Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome – Some people experience both types of sleep apnea simultaneously, meaning they have a blocked airway as well as problems with brain signaling.
What Problems or Complications Can It Cause?
Excessive daytime sleepiness can affect your ability to work, but it can also degrade your quality of life. However, there are more serious complications that can occur when sleep apnea goes untreated. Decreases in blood oxygen levels that occur suddenly can damage your heart or cause your blood pressure to increase. Sleep apnea is also associated with a higher risk of insulin resistance, which will eventually develop into type 2 diabetes. If you require surgery, you also face a greater risk of complications when being anesthetized if your condition isn’t being treated. ch restricts your breathing and decreases the oxygen level in your blood. People with obstructive sleep apnea often wake up abruptly multiple times a night with a gasp as their brain realizes airflow is insufficient.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
Getting a timely sleep apnea diagnosis is integral to prevent more damaging effects or complications. In some cases, lifestyle changes may be enough to stop symptoms from occurring. This is usually the case for people who are obese, which increases the risk of sleep apnea. You may also be prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which is worn at night and forces air into your lungs while you sleep.
When conservative treatments fail to offer relief, oral surgery is the next option. There are many different types of oral surgery available to treat sleep apnea, including nasal surgery to create more open airways to facilitate proper airflow into your lungs. Removal of the tonsils, as well as tissues from the soft palate, can also increase the size of your airways.
In some patients, the shape of the lower jaw plays a major role in obstructed breathing. In this case, the jaw can be surgically advanced using titanium plates to remedy abnormalities and enhance breathing. While undergoing a surgical procedure can seem daunting, for those with severe sleep apnea this is often the best way to experience relief and prevent the disorder from causing much worse health effects.
We’re Here to Help You Overcome Sleep Apnea
Are you experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea and aren’t sure where to turn? If so, Summit Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is here to help. Our sleep apnea clinics can help us determine the exact cause of the condition, which allows us to develop the best treatment for your needs. Our staff is knowledgeable as well as compassionate and will go above and beyond to make sure you’re comfortable during your procedure. Request an appointment today so you can enjoy a rested night’s sleep once again.