Sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, sometimes exist with other medical conditions that can be difficult to recognize. A thorough medical assessment and sleep study from Dennis Kellar, MD, Amanda Law, FPA-APRN, CNP, and the team at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine in Algonquin, Illinois, can help identify the origin and severity. Following the recommended treatments can bring quality, restorative sleep back into your life. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book online today.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop and start repeatedly breathing while you’re asleep. Left untreated, sleep apnea often leads to complications from high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, and stroke. It can also cause cardiovascular problems and is associated with depression and Type 2 diabetes.
The most common form of this disorder is obstructive sleep apnea, where you experience repeated airway blockage. Your oral soft tissue and tongue collapse against the back of your throat while you sleep, blocking the airway. As a result, you may snore loudly, choke, and gasp for air during sleep.
Central sleep apnea is less common and occurs when your brain doesn’t send signals to control your breath as you sleep. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both conditions.
It’s common to experience daytime drowsiness, waking up with a dry mouth, and trouble concentrating if you have sleep apnea. Other symptoms include:
Additional health complications are common if your sleep apnea is allowed to progress untreated. You may experience heart and liver problems, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome – a condition resulting from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels.
Sleep apnea can also strain personal relationships, especially when your partner cannot sleep during the night due to your loud snoring.
Your provider may prescribe a home sleep study to diagnose and evaluate your sleep apnea. A common treatment for sleep apnea is using a breathing machine that regulates airway pressure while you sleep.
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine consists of a mask you wear over your nose and mouth that connects to a machine. The machine regulates airflow while you sleep, so your muscles don’t relax enough to allow the soft tissue to collapse and block your throat.
Oral appliances that you wear while you sleep may also help prevent your tongue from collapsing and blocking your airway. Your provider thoroughly examines your mouth, nose, and throat to determine what’s causing your sleep apnea and prescribes a customized treatment plant to offer long-term relief.
If you feel tired every day, and family members have complained about your loud snoring, you could have sleep apnea. Schedule an exam at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine by phone or request an appointment online today.