Not Getting The Sleep You Need? You May Have Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common, yet commonly undiagnosed, sleep disorder that can affect men and women of all ages. At the LANAP and Implant Center, we offer treatment to help you sleep better and live more healthily. If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, we encourage you to contact our teams in Collegeville or Williamsport, PA. We would be delighted to help you feel better.
Below we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding sleep apnea and its treatment. Please feel free to give us a call with any additional concerns you may have!
What is sleep apnea? What causes it?
Sleep apnea is a condition caused by an inability to breathe properly during sleep. This is typically due to a blocked airway. While mildly blocked airways (such as an airway blocked by the complications of seasonal allergies) can result in snoring, sleep apnea is caused by airways that collapse on a regular basis, causing major breathing issues.
There are many risk factors for sleep apnea, including obesity, a large neck size, a narrow airway, old age, family history, smoking, alcohol, and more. Being a man also increases you chances of developing sleep apnea. While any one of these risk factors will not cause sleep apnea on its own, a combination of them could mean that you are greatly at risk.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
The symptoms of sleep apnea can vary from person to person, but the main signs you might notice include:
- cession of breath during sleep
- abrupt awakenings
- morning headaches
- daytime fatigue
- attention issues
- loud snorning
If you are noticing any of these things in yourself or your bed partner, please seek help. Sleep apnea can be very dangerous if left untreated. Read on for more information on that subject.
How is sleep apnea typically treated?
The most common form of treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. As the name may indicate, this machine pumps air into the patient’s airways in order to keep them open and allow them to breath properly. While this is a good solution for some, others find getting used to the air pressure or even the mask that has to be worn difficult to adjust to.
As an alternative, our practice offers an oral appliance that can also be used to treat sleep apnea. This appliance can be used on its own or in conjunction with a CPAP machine, depending on your specific needs. The purpose of the oral appliance is to adjust your jaw positioning to help your airways remain open. We can also use this type of device to treat loud snoring that is not associated with sleep apnea.
What will happen if I don’t seek help for my sleep apnea?
While you may not experience negative effects right away, living with untreated sleep apnea long term can cause some serious health problems. When you are not getting the proper quality of sleep, your body is deprived of oxygen and simply does not function properly. If you live with untreated sleep apnea for a long period of time, you may experience:
- severe daytime fatigue
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- type two diabetes
- liver problems
- a sleep-deprived bed partner
- other medical complications
We recommend seeking treatment as soon as you notice symptoms of sleep apnea. To live a happy, healthy life, getting your snoring and sleep apnea under control is key. Our team would be happy to help you!
How can I schedule an appointment?
Are you noticing signs of sleep apnea in yourself or your bed partner? Our team can help. We recommend scheduling an appointment right away. You can reach our Collegeville office at 610-617-4000 or our Williamsport office at 570-505-5565. We would be happy to help you find an appropriate date and time for your visit.
Don’t let sleep apnea continue to ruin your sleep and your overall health. Get the care you need. Your friends at the LANAP and Implant Center are here to help you.