Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the United States. It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with roughly 80% of these cases undiagnosed. This is particularly unsettling because sleep apnea can be serious and sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly while you are asleep. In most cases, sleep apnea can cause daytime sleepiness, regular fatigue, and always feeling like you just cannot get enough sleep. You may also be easily irritable and have trouble paying attention to things during the day.
Sleep apnea may affect a sleep partner in negative ways as well if you toss and turn or excessively snore. If you are having any of these symptoms or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea by a doctor, call our team of professionals at San Tan Oral Surgery today. We may be able to help you sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed than you have been.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea may have a number of causes and should be officially diagnosed by a doctor. There are three main types of sleep apnea. These are obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most prevalent type of sleep apnea. Your throat muscles relax while you are asleep, and in turn can potentially block your airway, causing you to stop breathing. This type of sleep apnea can happen to anyone, but there are factors that can cause a higher possibility of having obstructive sleep apnea. These factors include excessive weight, a narrowed airway that may be inherited, high blood pressure, chronic congestion, smoking, diabetes, and asthma.
Central sleep apnea is a neurological issue. With central sleep apnea, your brain will fail to transmit signals to the muscles that control your breathing. Your body will not automatically breathe for a short period of time, causing your brain to wake you up due to lack of oxygen. This type of sleep apnea is not very common.
Mixed sleep apnea is when there is a combination of neurological issues plus obstructive factors that all affect your sleep. You may have relaxed throat muscles blocking your breathing, while at the same time your brain is not sending the correct signals to your muscles.
Read more about the risks of sleep apnea.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
One of the most common treatments for obstructive sleep apnea is a type of therapy called continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. A CPAP machine goes over your nose, or nose and mouth, while you sleep. The machine pushes air through your nose and mouth, keeping your airway open and clear while you are asleep. There are other appliances that may help with sleep apnea as well, such as mouth guards that hold your lower jaw forward while you sleep, preventing your tongue from falling back in your mouth.
Another option is surgery, which may help clear obstructed sinuses or a narrow breathing path. A change in lifestyle can often help cases of obstructive sleep apnea as well, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, or changing the side that you sleep on.
Learn more about surgical treatment for sleep apnea and laser treatment for sleep apnea.
If you are struggling with excessive daytime sleepiness or any of the above symptoms, you may be suffering from some form of sleep apnea. This can be detrimental to and affect your life in many ways. To help get yourself on the path to better sleep and a more refreshed life, give our caring team a call today at (480) 604-2592. At San Tan Oral Surgery, we can help you sleep your best.