Everyone needs between 7 and 8 hours of sleep at the end of the day, but individuals with sleep apnea often have difficulty sleeping well on a regular basis. Obstructive sleep apnea involves repeated episodes of partial or complete obstruction of the upper airway while sleeping. These episodes may occur anywhere between five and one hundred times per hour, depending on the individual. Having more than 30 to 40 breathing interruptions during sleep is considered severe and should be taken seriously.
The number of Americans with sleep apnea is estimated to be as high as 50 million. When left untreated, sleep disorders can contribute to other serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. We can assist you if you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea.
Solutions tailored to your needs
As with any medical condition, treatment for sleep apnea is determined by the factors underlying the condition and its severity. The treatment recommendations will differ depending on the severity of your condition. If the condition is mild, a special mouthpiece or oral appliance may be the most effective treatment for maintaining a natural airway. The use of continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP therapy may be indicated in more severe cases. The CPAP machine delivers forced air through a tube and a mask or nose piece in order to maintain a steady oxygen flow during sleep.
Changes in lifestyle may be helpful in treating sleep apnea.
A person who is overweight may accumulate fat around their neck, potentially obstructing their breathing and contributing to sleep apnea. Your doctor may therefore recommend a combination of dietary changes and exercise to assist you in losing weight. A healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis are excellent ways to not only lose weight, but to also ensure you are healthy. In most cases, this alone can significantly improve and often completely eliminate sleep disorders. There may be a need for surgery in some cases.
We can conduct a brief screening in our office if you are experiencing snoring or other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea in order to determine whether you need treatment. We invite you to contact our office today to learn how you can take control of your health and start sleeping better at night. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.