Sleep Apnea – Loveland, OH
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is characterized by many interruptions in breathing throughout the night. It can happen if your body isn't getting enough oxygen. If you snore loudly, repeatedly gasp while sleeping, or encounter other symptoms of poor sleep quality, such as increased daytime sleepiness, you should consult Sleep Apnea Solutions of Loveland.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are various different types of sleep apnea that you should be aware of:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When your upper airway becomes obstructed repeatedly throughout the night, preventing airflow or limiting its volume, you have obstructive sleep apnea. This form of sleep apnea affects many people. Enlarged tonsils, obesity, and fluctuations in hormone levels are all risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea because they restrict the airway.
Central Sleep Apnea
This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to deliver signals to the body's breathing centers during sleep. Central sleep apnea is caused by problems with your airway and chest muscles that your brain is supposed to be controlling.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
It can be challenging to tell if you have obstructive or central sleep apnea because the symptoms are similar. Some of the most prevalent signs of both obstructive and central sleep apneas are:
- Somebody snores quite loudly
- Sleep-related gasping for air
- Mouth feels dry in the morning
- A headache upon waking
- Insomnia, or the inability to maintain sleep
- Lack of ability to focus while awake
Causes of Sleep Apnea
When the muscles in the back of the throat become too relaxed, sleep apnea occurs. Tonsils, side walls of the neck, and the tongue are all supported by these muscles, as well as the soft palate and the triangular portion of tissue hanging from the soft palate called the uvula.
Muscle relaxation during inhalation causes the airway to become narrower or perhaps completely closed. Inadequate ventilation reduces blood oxygen levels. When your brain realizes you're having trouble breathing, it wakes you up momentarily so you can clear your airway. In most cases, this awareness is so fleeting that it is forgotten immediately.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
So you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Now what? You do have some choices at Sleep Apnea Solutions of Cincinnati as far as treatment goes depending on your level of sleep apnea severity and sleeplessness.
The most studied and successful of the obstructive sleep apnea treatments is arguably the most well known and that is continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP, and it's variations. CPAP is a solution that sends nonstop pressure into your throat while you are sleeping to keep your airway open.
Oral Sleep Appliance
For those suffering with less extreme versions of sleep apnea, oral appliances are a great choice. These too are devices that are worn at night and prescribed and made by a properly trained dentist. The most well known of these is a mandibular advancement device or MAD. This particular treatment is arguably the easiest solution. It's custom fit to be worn over your upper and lower teeth and designed to allow your lower jaw to move forward to open your airway while you sleep. Still used, but not as often as MADS, is a tongue retaining device. This final option is a soft splint made of plastic that fits over the tongue and holds it in place, keeping the airway clear.
As you can see, there are several options for treatment when seeking relief from sleep apnea depending on the severity of your symptoms. For people with slight to less than severe sleep apnea, dental devices should be something they consider. For those with a more severe situation, CPAP machines may be the better alternative. No matter what solution you end up with, the best way to approach it is to talk with us to find what works best for you. We'll take a look at the physical state of your airway, your medical health and history, as well as your personal preferences to find a solution that works best for you.