In-Depth Information You Should Know About Sleep Apnea

In-Depth Information You Should Know About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by symptoms such as short breath pauses, loud, chronic snores, daytime fatigue, or choking while sleeping. Our dentist at Huntington Beach in California will refer you to a snoring specialist near you for treatment if you are experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above. Read on to know more about the types of sleep apnea and the available treatments.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Central Sleep Apnea

It usually happens when the brain does not signal the muscles controlling breathing due to a nervous system malfunction. Snoring rarely happens if you have this type of apnea. Central sleep apnea is usually associated with illnesses such as stroke, spinal injury, or heart failure.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

It is the most common type of sleep apnea. The soft tissue at the back of your throat relaxes, blocking the airway when sleeping.

Treatment Options

Sleep apnea can result in various health problems such as depression or stroke if not treated at the right time. The type of sleep apnea caused by allergies or one with mild conditions can be treated by a change in your lifestyle changes or allergy medication. Several options can treat severe and moderate sleep apnea. They include:

  • Surgery – Surgery is done to expand your airways. Your tonsils or excess tissues in your nose or your throat may be removed. The tissues are removed using a radio frequency energy.

Other ways that the airway can be expanded include:

  • Jaw Restructuring – It is also known as maxilla-mandibular advancement, and it’s done by moving your jaw forward, thus enlarging the space behind your tongue.
  • The implant of soft rods surgically on your soft palate.
  • Tracheotomy – This is the creation of a new airway. It is done if other treatment options have failed, or the sleep apnea is life-threatening. An opening is done on your neck then a metal or plastic tube inserted for breathing. The opening is covered during the day and opened while sleeping.
  • Tissue shrinking – Usually done when you have a mild condition of sleep apnea. The tissue at the end of your mouth is shrunk with radiofrequency ablation. It has fewer surgical infection risks.

Some of these surgical procedures have a risk of infection. For more information about the surgery, visit a snoring surgery specialist.

Use of Sleep Appliances

  1. CPAP

Continuous positive airflow pressure is the most used appliance in sleep apnea treatment.  The device looks like a mask that covers your mouth and nose while you are sleeping. It provides you with constant airflow ensuring that your breathing passages are open all night long. Keep looking out for new updated CPAP devices since they keep improving them so that they feel more comfortable.

  1. ASV

Adaptive Servo-Ventilation device is used for treating both obstructive and central sleep apnea conditions. It automatically stops the breathing pauses you make during your sleep.

  1. EPAP

Expiratory positive airway pressure devices are usually fitted over your nostrils to keep them open throughout the night. They are small and can be used to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea.

Other Treatment Options

  1. Oral Appliances

They are custom made and are gaining more popularity than breathing devices as they are portable and more comfortable. These appliances are fitted in your mouth like mouth guards or around your head and chin to change the position of the lower jaw.

There are a lot of oral appliances that you can use. Contact a sleep apnea specialist near you before deciding on what appliance to use.

  1. Regular Exercises

Other than losing weight and staying fit, exercise can also determine the duration and quality of sleep you are having. Yoga strengthens the airway muscles improving breathing while aerobics can reduce the symptoms.

  1. Sleeping Position

Avoid sleeping on your back to prevent your tongue and soft palate from resting on the back of your throat, blocking the airway. Try sleeping on your sides and stomach more often.

If it becomes difficult for you, you can attach a tennis ball on the back of your pajama’s top or a device that will vibrate if you turn on your backside. Using a foam wedge or a cervical pillow, elevate up your body from waist upwards while sleeping.

  1. Shed Excess Fats On Your Body

Overweight people tend to have excess tissues at the back of their throat. While sleeping, the extra tissue falls on the airway blocking the airflow into the lungs. Maintaining a healthy body will clear the airways, thus reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea.

  1. Avoid Drinking and Smoking

Better lifestyle choices can improve your sleeping habit. Quit smoking and taking alcohol since they can cause inflammation and swelling on your throat, blocking your airway, and leading to interrupted sleep due to snoring.

  1. Humidifiers

Dry air irritates your respiratory system. The use of humidifiers is highly recommended to increase moisture in the air. Humidifiers are a great help in reducing congestion and encourages cleaner air. Add peppermint and lavender in the humidifier to reduce inflammation.

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