Sleep has an impact on your health and daily life. When you sleep well, you feel, look, and perform better. When you have a sleep disorder, your health and well-being might suffer. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common types of sleep problems. Learn about the symptoms, warning signals, and how to seek treatment.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) exactly?
Almost 54 million people in the United States suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This sleep condition may cause patients to cease breathing for a few seconds or more than a minute.
Sleep apnea is a persistent illness that happens when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and restrict the airway. Breathing pauses cause oxygen levels to drop. The individual then temporarily wakes as a result of the breathing pauses, and their sleep is disrupted.
Snoring, gasping, or choking during sleep are all classic symptoms of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, like snoring, is more frequent in males, but it does not discriminate, since it may occur in women as well, particularly after or during menopause. A misaligned jaw, a restricted airway, and extra body weight are all factors that might raise the risk of sleep apnea.
Treating OSA Is Critical For Your Health.
If untreated, obstructive sleep apnea may cause severe daytime drowsiness or exhaustion, as well as morning headaches and memory loss. Sleep apnea endangers your safety since exhaustion causes work accidents and increases sleepy driving. Sleep apnea, if untreated, may raise the risk of major health complications. Consider the following as an example:
Blood pressure that is too high
Diabetes and acid reflux
If severe sleep apnea is not treated, the chance of mortality increases.
How is OSA detected?
A doctor must diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. A sleep expert will next conduct a comprehensive sleep examination. A home sleep apnea test or an overnight sleep study at a sleep facility may be part of the examination. The sleep specialist will then analyze the data from your sleep study and make a diagnosis.
How is OSA managed?
The sleep expert will go through several treatment choices with you. Oral appliance therapy, surgery, and positive airway pressure will be among the therapeutic choices.
Oral appliance treatment employs a device that resembles the appearance and feel of a mouthguard and is worn solely during sleep, resulting in a clear and open airway.
A broad range of surgical treatments is available. All have varying degrees of success and negative effects.
CPAP treatment is wearing a face mask while sleeping and connecting it to an always-on machine through the tubing.
Oral appliance therapy has been determined to be one of the most effective treatments for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring by researchers. The oral appliance is only worn at night and fits like a sports mouthguard or an orthodontic retainer. It holds your mouth forward, allowing you to keep your upper airway open.
Since a sleep apnea appliance is more pleasant to use than a CPAP mask, many patients choose it as a treatment choice. Not to mention that oral appliances are quiet, simple to maintain, and portable.
How Can You Treat Sleep Apnea Without Using A CPAP Machine?
Sleep issues may endanger your health and general quality of life. One of the most frequent sleep disorders is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It happens when the airway is completely or partially blocked during sleeping.
A variety of reasons may restrict the airway. It mostly occurs when the soft tissues of the throat relax excessively during sleep, obstructing the airway. The brain then awakens the body to open the airway and restore breathing. Since OSA occurs during sleep, many persons with the illness are unaware they have a problem. People commonly find out about it via their dentist, doctor, or sleep, apnea specialist. Modvigil 200(Provigil) and Modalert 200 are used to treat excessive sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy and residual sleepiness in certain cases of sleep apnea. The medication is thought to have an impact on the brain’s sleep-wake centers. The most common side effect is a headache.
Watch out for the following OSA signs and symptoms:
Excessive drowsiness throughout the day
Sudden waking while chocking and gasping for oxygen due to episodes of halted breathing during sleep
Headaches in the morning
Having a sore throat or a dry mouth when you wake up
Having trouble focusing throughout the day
Changes in mood, such as irritation and sadness
waking up many times throughout the night
If you or your spouse are experiencing these symptoms, look for sleep apnea therapy near you. While obstructive sleep apnea does not always cause serious symptoms, it can increase your risk of health complications such as high blood pressure, decreased libido, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, medication and surgery complications, and eye problems such as glaucoma.
Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
For moderate to severe instances of OSA, the most frequent treatment option is a CPAP machine. The therapy is wearing a mask over the mouth and nose that is linked to a CPAP machine. After that, the machine constantly pumps air through the mask to keep your airways open as you sleep. It prevents and improves sleep apnea.
Although useful, CPAP devices have drawbacks. The gadget is unpleasant, unwieldy, and loud, according to the majority of patients. If the CPAP machine does not work for you, explore the following therapy options:
Obesity is a major risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea. Obesity or being overweight in the neck region may constrict the airway, causing sleep apnea. Exercise and a healthy diet have been found in studies to help people lose weight and minimize or prevent sleep apnea.
Your sleeping posture might raise your chances of experiencing sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back, for example, allows your tongue and other throat muscles to roll back and restrict the airway, increasing the frequency of sleep apnea episodes.
Sleeping on your side is recommended by experts to lessen the likelihood of your throat muscles collapsing and obstructing your airway. Sleeping on the left side is also beneficial to digestion. Sleeping with your head raised on a soft pillow may also help you sleep better by preventing or reducing airway blockage.
Abstaining from cigarettes and alcohol
According to recent research, drinking alcohol, particularly before bed, increases your chances of snoring and sleep apnea. Smoking may also cause fluid retention and inflammation in the upper airway, increasing the likelihood of airway blockage. Smokers are three times as likely as nonsmokers to suffer from OSA. Reducing your use of smoke and alcoholic beverages, particularly before bed, may help to avoid or prevent sleep apnea.
The NEPAP gadget
Before sleeping, inserting a nasal expiratory positive airway pressure device into the nostrils creates positive pressure while exhaling, keeping the upper airway from collapsing. This gadget maintains the airway and enhances sleep.
Devices for mandibular advancement
These devices cover the upper or lower teeth and maintain normal jaw alignment to avoid upper-way blockages. Mandibular advancement devices are quieter, more comfortable, simple to operate, and less costly than CPAP machines. Nevertheless, they are only effective for moderate forms of sleep apnea.
Tongue Retention Devices
The tongue is held forward by a tongue-retaining device throughout the night, preventing it from blocking the airway.
Orofacial therapy is the treatment for the muscles of the mouth and face. This therapy assists you in correctly positioning your tongue so that it does not obstruct your airway. It also aids in the regulation and strengthening of muscles in the soft palate, lips, cheeks, and tongue.
If conventional therapies fail, your dentist may prescribe surgery to address sleep apnea. In youngsters, surgery may include the removal of the adenoids and tonsils. Among the potentially beneficial operations for OSA are:
The upper and lower jawbones are repositioned to keep the upper airway accessible during maxillomandibular advancement (MMA).
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty entails removing certain tissues from the upper airway.
A tracheostomy involves the creation of a hole in the windpipe. To enhance breathing, your surgeon inserts a tube.