What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in your throat relax too much during sleep, causing your airway to become blocked and preventing you from breathing properly. This can happen dozens or even hundreds of times per night, leading to a range of health problems over time.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be diagnosed by your doctor through an assessment of your symptoms. It’s important to take sleep apnea seriously and seek treatment as soon as possible. Left untreated, this condition can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems. With the right treatment plan from White Rock ENT, however, you can enjoy better sleep, improved energy, and a better quality of life overall.
Common Causes and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Although sleep apnea can impact anyone, it is more prevalent among older adults. The causes of airway obstruction may include:
- Cardiovascular issues
- Throat and tongue muscles becoming more relaxed than usual
Common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea may include:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping for air while asleep
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Morning dry mouth and sore throat
Treating Your Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea goes beyond being an annoyance that disrupts your sleep. If left untreated, it can cause serious health problems. Some treatment options include:
There are several lifestyle changes you can make to help alleviate the severity of your sleep apnea symptoms, including:
- Weight loss
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption (especially before bedtime)
- Sleeping on your side
- Elevating your head during sleep
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which involves the use of a machine to deliver controlled bursts of air to your throat through a mask worn over your nose and mouth while you sleep.
Additional Treatment Options
Other options for treatment include oral mouth guards that reposition the lower jaw and tongue, nasal breathing strips, and surgery. The team at White Rock ENT will work with you to identify the best treatment solution for your needs.
Inspire Sleep Apnea Solution
If you do not respond well to CPAP, you may qualify for Inspire therapy, an FDA-approved implantable device that treats obstructive sleep apnea by working with a patient’s natural breathing process. This therapy stimulates the hypoglossal nerve to control the proper muscles based on each patient’s individual breathing patterns.
Epworth Sleepiness Scale Questionnaire
Sleep issues affect millions of Americans each year and range from inability to sleep to non-restorative sleep. Many people feel not rested despite sleeping enough hours or deal with snoring and anatomical issues causing airway obstruction when sleeping. The following survey is quick and can provide an insight into the severity of these issues. If you experience poor sleep, we encourage you take the survey and suggest you submit the results so we can schedule a time to meet with you and address these concerns.
Ready to Schedule a Consultation?
To learn more about sleep apnea, schedule your consultation with White Rock ENT at (214) 324-0418