Do you feel exhausted when you wake up? Have people mentioned that you snore? If this sounds like you, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. Despite so many people suffering from this condition, many individuals have never heard of it, and are unaware of its serious side effects.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder when breathing is repeatedly interrupted while sleep. These interruptions occur because the muscles in the back of the throat do not keep the airway open. This can result in many serious side effects, including low blood oxygen levels, hypertension, heart disease, and memory problems. It can also leave you fatigued throughout the day, which can make everyday tasks, like driving, dangerous.
Sleep apnea can be caused by many factors, including having a small upper airway, having a small jaw, a large overbite or a recessed chin, being overweight, or having a large neck size. If you fall under any of these categories and believe you may have sleep apnea, visit our office as soon as possible for a full evaluation.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea
The first step towards treating sleep apnea is to undergo a sleep study, which will determine the severity of your condition. One of the most common treatments for obstructive sleep apnea is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP). This machine is equipped with a mask that is worn over the nose and/or mouth and gently blows air into the airway to help keep breathing even during sleep. Other treatment options for sleep apnea include dental appliances and upper airways surgery.
If you suspect that you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea, contact our Denver office today to schedule an appointment with one of our ENT physicians.