Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. These pauses can last for a few seconds to minutes and may occur multiple times throughout the night. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open.
As a result, oxygen levels in the body drop, and carbon dioxide levels rise. This triggers your brain to wake you up momentarily so that you can resume normal breathing. However, these awakenings are often so brief that you may not even remember them happening.
Untreated sleep apnea can have significant consequences on your health. It can lead to chronic fatigue, daytime drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and an increased risk of accidents or injuries due to impaired alertness.
Types of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects many people around the world. It is characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep, which can lead to disrupted sleep patterns and daytime fatigue. There are three main types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type and occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open during sleep. This results in repetitive episodes of partial or complete blockage, leading to loud snoring and gasping for air.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)
Central sleep apnea (CSA) is less common and happens when the brain fails to send proper signals to control breathing during sleep. Unlike OSA, there may be no snoring present with CSA because it's not caused by physical obstruction.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
Complex or mixed sleep apnea occurs when someone has both obstructive and central components contributing to their condition. It can be challenging to diagnose and treat since it requires addressing both types simultaneously.
Understanding these different types of sleep apnea is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment strategies tailored specifically to each individual's needs. Whether it's obstructive, central, or complex - seeking medical help for sleep apnea is essential for managing this potentially serious condition.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea in Webster, TX
When it comes to treating sleep apnea, there are several options available that can help improve your quality of sleep and overall well-being. The most common treatment methods include lifestyle changes, oral devices, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, and even surgery in some cases.
Lifestyle changes play a crucial role in managing sleep apnea symptoms. These may involve losing weight if you are overweight or obese since excess weight can contribute to the obstruction of your airways. Additionally, avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed can help prevent relaxation of the throat muscles that cause breathing disruptions during sleep.
Oral devices such as mandibular advancement devices (MADs) are another non-invasive option for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. These custom-made appliances work by repositioning the jaw slightly forward, which helps keep the airways open during sleep.
For more severe cases of sleep apnea, a CPAP machine is often recommended. This device delivers a constant flow of pressurized air through a mask worn over the nose or mouth while sleeping. The air pressure acts as a splint to keep the airways open and prevents interruptions in breathing.
In certain situations where other treatments have failed or if there is an underlying anatomical issue causing the obstruction, surgical intervention may be considered. Surgery aims to remove excess tissue from the throat or correct structural abnormalities that may be contributing to airflow obstruction during sleep.
Ready for better sleep and improved health? Explore the sleep apnea treatment options we offer at Unicare Center for Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry by calling (281) 324-8583 or visiting us at 20814 Gulf Freeway #40, Webster, TX 77598. Schedule a consultation today to discover personalized solutions and wake up to a refreshed, energized tomorrow.