In the United States, sleep apnea rates are increasing among adults, reaching between 50 and 70 million people. The rise in obesity rates is expected to lead to an even greater increase in sleep apnea cases. Thus, you must understand what sleep apnea is and that our dental office is always available to answer any questions you may have.
People are often unaware that there are three types of sleep apnea. Since they have different causes, symptoms, and frequencies, it is important to understand them completely. Here we will examine the symptoms, how sleep apnea can be identified, and how it can be effectively treated.
Sleep Apnea (Obstructive Sleep Apnea)
Approximately 30% of men and 15% of women suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). People with OSA have trouble concentrating, thinking, and remembering the day’s events because their throat muscles, which naturally relax during sleep, collapse too much to allow normal breathing. This hinders the flow of air in their airway and can have a negative impact on their mental and physical performance. Additionally, it has been shown to increase the risk of accidents at work and on the road. The most common risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea is obesity.
Central Sleep Apnea
Unlike obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is less common and can also be harder to diagnose and treat. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the correct information to the muscles that control breathing. People with central sleep apnea often suffer from underlying illnesses as well, such as brain infections or conditions affecting the brainstem.
Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome
The third type of sleep apnea has more recently been identified and is called complex sleep apnea. This is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea. Patients with complex sleep apnea syndrome still experience breathing problems even after their airway obstruction is treated. This indicates that something other than collapsing throat muscles is also contributing to the apnea.
There are many different treatments available for sleep apnea. Depending on the severity of your condition, our sleep apnea dentist in 21061 may recommend one of the following options:
- Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking, are usually recommended for milder cases.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP, is a machine that continuously delivers positive air pressure. CPAP is just enough to keep the airways open and prevent symptoms such as sleep apnea and snoring.
- The bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) machine provides more pressure when you inhale and less when you exhale.
- Treatment of associated medical problems, such as heart and neuromuscular problems,
- The use of supplemental oxygen during sleep.
- Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV), a recently approved airflow device, learns your normal breathing patterns and stores them on a built-in computer. To prevent sleep pauses, the machine uses pressure to normalize your breathing pattern.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause serious health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart problems. We encourage you to contact our sleep apnea dental office in Glen Burnie to schedule a consultation if you have sleep apnea symptoms.