What is sleep apnea and why is it crucial to have it diagnosed and treated? Important questions, and at Elite Medical Clinics, DFW, we have the answers and the help you need for your best health.
Sleep apnea is the condition when breathing stops during sleep. While the breathing stoppage may only last a moment, it can occur up to one hundred times in the course of a night. It happens when throat muscles relax and prevent normal breathing. That means that blood oxygen levels may lower and carbon dioxide may build in the body.
Most who live with sleep apnea are not even aware that they stop breathing for short periods during the night; the sleep partner may be aware of the silence followed by a gasp for breath as breathing starts up again. Snoring is also a symptom of sleep apnea, though snoring does not mean that you have sleep apnea.
We want you to know that there are some very serious implications for sleep apnea as well as some very helpful treatment plans. Along with feeling sleepy during the day because of the interrupted sleep patterns, those with untreated sleep apnea may experience high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, memory loss, impotence, and headaches. There is also a higher chance of car accidents because of the prolonged sleepiness of those with sleep apnea.
Males are more likely to have sleep apnea than females. Other risk factors include being overweight and over the age of forty. However, sleep apnea can happen at any age, even in childhood.
At Elite Medical Clinics, DFW, we are aware of the implications that sleep apnea can have on you or a loved one. We can help make a diagnosis through a sleep study that monitors and studies your sleep habits.
We can also help you decide the best treatment option for your sleep apnea. Choices include a positive airway pressure device. This is often called a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine that provides pressurized air through tubing that is attached to a mask that fits over your nose, or your nose and mouth. While, it takes a bit of adjustment, once you are used to it you can expect a good night’s sleep and better health.
Oral appliances are also available and consist of an appliance that you wear to hold your jaw forward in a way that allows your airways to stay open. This is a great option if you have severe sleep apnea or if wearing the CPAP is difficult.
Still another option is a combination of the CPAP mask and an oral appliance.
Our healthcare providers at Elite Medicine Clinics, DFW urge you to get sleep apnea help if you think that you or someone you love has this condition. Your best health depends on proper sleep apnea treatment.