Everyone needs 7-8 hours of rest at the end of the day, but people with sleep apnea often struggle to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs as repetitive episodes of complete or partial upper airway blockage during sleep. Episodes, or pauses in breathing, may happen anywhere from 5-100 times per hour, depending on the individual. More than 30-40 breathing interruptions as you sleep is considered severe and is cause for concern.
It’s estimated that as many as 50 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea. Left untreated, sleeping disorders can contribute to other dangerous health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke. If you think you may have sleep apnea, we can help.
Customized Sleep Solutions
Like any medical disorder, treatment for sleep apnea is based on the underlying factors and severity of the condition. Depending on whether your case is mild or severe, treatment recommendations will vary. In mild cases, the best treatment may be a special mouthpiece or oral appliance to naturally maintain an open airway. In more severe cases, continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP therapy may be indicated. CPAP devices deliver forced air through a tube and a mask or nosepiece to deliver steady oxygen flow while you sleep.
Lifestyle Changes Can Help with Sleep Apnea
Being overweight can cause an accumulation of fatty tissue around the neck, potentially obstructing your breathing and contributing to sleep apnea. For this reason, your doctor might recommend a combination of dietary changes and exercise to help you lose weight. This alone can significantly improve and often completely eliminate sleep disorders. In some cases, surgery may be required.
If you’re experiencing snoring or other signs of obstructive sleep apnea, we can complete a brief screening in our office to determine whether treatment is necessary. Contact Chesapeake Sleep Center today to take control of your health and start sleeping better at night. We’re happy to answer any questions that you may have.