Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects more than 200,000 people in the U.S. each year. While the condition can cause potentially serious complications, it is easily treatable. However, most people with sleep apnea are unaware they have the condition, causing it to go undiagnosed until the symptoms of the condition have increased in severity. If you’re having difficulty sleeping at night and suffer from chronic snoring, it’s essential you learn the symptoms of sleep apnea. If you suspect you may have the condition, you will need to be evaluated for sleep apnea in Leesburg to obtain the proper treatment.
Understanding Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that results when there are brief interruptions in breathing while sleeping. These pauses in breathing occur numerous times per night, with many lasting as long as 30 seconds. There are three main types of sleep apnea, which are caused by various factors. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which results when the throat muscles relax, causing the airway to become narrow. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain sends incorrect signals to the muscles that are responsible for breathing. In some cases, a patient may have both forms of sleep apnea, which is known as complex sleep apnea syndrome.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea produces a wide range of symptoms which often go unnoticed by the patient due to being asleep. It’s usually a spouse or family member who notices the symptoms. The most common symptoms associated with the condition include chronic snoring, pauses in breathing, and waking often with shortness of breath, gagging, or choking. It’s not uncommon to experience dry mouth, sore throat, or even headaches. Often, those with the condition will have difficulty staying asleep. The lack of adequate sleep often results in daytime fatigue, which can eventually lead to sleep deprivation. Once sleep deprivation sets in, your overall quality of life can decrease.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Leesburg
If you have sleep apnea in Leesburg, you will require treatment. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to cardiovascular problems, Type 2 Diabetes, liver problems, and many other potentially serious health complications. Depending on the cause and severity of the condition, there are various forms of sleep apnea treatment.
One of the most common forms of treatment involves the use of a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine uses a mask that is worn over the nose and mouth while sleeping. A stream of air is delivered through the mouth to keep the airways open, reducing the occurrence of interruptions in breathing. However, many don’t like wearing the machine, causing them to look for CPAP alternatives in Leesburg.
Often, dental offices are able to offer various treatments for sleep apnea, such as the use of oral appliances. Many oral appliances are similar to mouthguards, which help move the jaw forward to keep the airway open.
Determining which type of treatment is right for you will require an evaluation and sleep study to properly diagnose sleep apnea in Leesburg. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Groy or your physician for an evaluation.