Sleep Apnea, Its Symptoms and Treatments
Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans daily. Unfortunately, there are many more that are suffering from its effects but have not yet been diagnosed. Sleep apnea is a serious disorder, and it is important to understand its symptoms. However, keep in mind that there are treatment options available for those who are suffering from sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airways become blocked by the tongue or the soft palate at the back of the throat. This disruption in breathing can cause a person to gasp for air at night. Often times, the symptoms of sleep apnea are first noticed by a sleeping partner. One of the main symptoms to watch out for is chronic and loud snoring. Other symptoms include those associated with a lack of sleep. These symptoms include daytime sleepiness, irritability, memory problems, depression, and a difficulty focusing. When sleep apnea patients are lacking sleep, they may fall asleep at work or even while they are driving. The longer sleep apnea is left untreated, the more dangerous the symptoms get. Serious sleep apnea symptoms can eventually include depression, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
Treatment options include the use of oral appliances and CPAP machines. Oral appliances are worn at night similar to a night guard, and they gently move the lower jaw forward so that the tongue is not able to fall back onto the airway as the person sleeps. CPAP machines, or continuous positive airway pressure machines, provide the patient with a constant and steady air pressure that is passed through a face mask attached to the nose and mouth. This ensures that the airways stay open.
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact our expert in sleep apnea in Los Angeles to schedule a consultation.
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