Prevent Health Complications by Seeking Sleep Apnea Treatment If Affected by the Condition
Prevent Health Complications by Seeking Sleep Apnea Treatment If Affected by the Condition

Prevent Health Complications by Seeking Sleep Apnea Treatment If Affected by the Condition

Sep 01, 2021

Do you experience excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, challenges concentrating during the day, and mood changes with depression and irritability? You likely also snore when sleeping and awaken abruptly, gasping or choking. If you experience all the above, you are a likely victim of sleep apnea and must seek sleep apnea treatment near you for a remedy.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially severe sleep-related disorder causing your breathing to stop and repeatedly start when sleeping. There are various types of sleep apnea, but the most common is obstructive sleep apnea. Apneic episodes with obstructive sleep apnea occur by relaxing your throat muscles intermittently blocking your airway when sleeping. A warning sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring.

Sleep apnea treatment in Stafford is undoubtedly available with one treatment using positive pressure to keep your airway open when you sleep. Another option is a dental appliance to trust your lower jaw forward when you sleep. Surgery is also an alternative considered in some cases.

When Must You Contact a Doctor for Sleep Apnea Treatment?

You must consult a medical professional if your bed partner observes the following:

  • You snore loudly to disturb your sleep and that of your partner.
  • You wake up repeatedly gasping or choking.
  • Your breath pauses intermittently when sleeping.
  • You experience daytime drowsiness causing you to fall asleep when working or even driving a vehicle.

Do not assume the snoring is not a concerning issue because not everyone with the habit of snoring has obstructive sleep apnea.

Discuss with your doctor if you experience loud snoring followed by periods of silence. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, snoring is generally the loudest when sleeping on the back. Sleeping on your sides keeps the noises lower. Discuss with the professional about any sleep problem leaving you chronically tired, sleepy, and irritable.

What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

The relaxation of your throat muscles excessively is the cause of obstructive sleep apnea. The throat muscles support structures like the back of the roof of your mouth, the tonsils, tongue, and the soft palate. With the relaxation of muscles, your airway narrows or closes, making it challenging for you to breathe for 10 seconds or longer, lowering the oxygen level in your blood and causing a buildup of carbon dioxide. As a result, you awaken with breathlessness which corrects itself quickly after you take a deep breath.

The pattern repeats itself multiple times or more every hour all night. The disruptions impair your ability to get the desired sleep, making you feel sleepy during your daytime. You may not realize you are not sleeping well and think nothing is wrong with you.

Complications Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Besides daytime sleepiness and fatigue, you also experience cardiovascular problems because of sudden drops in blood oxygen levels during apneic sleep episodes. As a result, you can develop high blood pressure, which increases your risk of heart disease. In addition, obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and can even prove fatal if you experience repeated episodes of arrhythmias. It is why you must seek sleep apnea treatment in Stafford, VA, to prevent various health complications that affect you.

Diagnosing Your Condition

When diagnosing your condition, your doctor evaluates based on signs and symptoms, conducting an examination and tests. In addition, you might receive a referral to a sleep medicine specialist in a sleep center for additional evaluation.

Diagnostic tests to determine whether you are affected by sleep apnea include the polysomnography test conducted at the sleep center overnight or home sleep apnea testing to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea.

Treatment For Sleep Apnea

If you are affected by a mild case of obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercising regularly, sleeping on your sides, and avoiding sedative medications.

Unfortunately, your doctor may recommend other devices that help open up your blocked airway if your sleep apnea is severe or moderate.

You are recommended a CPAP device that delivers air pressure through a mask fitting over your nose when sleeping. However, if you find the CPAP device cumbersome, alternatives like a sleep apnea orthodontic appliance in Stafford, VA, helps you alleviate symptoms associated with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Orthodontic appliances can reduce your daytime sleepiness and improve your quality of life. These dental devices help keep your throat open by pushing your lower jaw forward and help relieve snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is not a minor condition but is a relatively severe sleep-related disorder. Therefore, if you are experiencing any symptoms discussed in this blog, you must get treatment for this condition as soon as possible before other health complications begin concerning you.

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