Do you find yourself waking up feeling exhausted, even after a full night’s sleep?
Sleep apnea can affect the body in multiple ways including feeling drowsy throughout the day, having a difficult time concentrating, and regular restlessness and fatigue. These symptoms occur because your body has been deprived of restful sleep. Sleep apnea is a condition in which the patient stops breathing normally while sleeping. These breathing pauses can last up to 30 seconds and occur hundreds of times throughout the entire night.
There are 3 types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central and complex. Obstructive is a blockage within the airway and central is a result of the brain sending improper signals to muscles that control breathing. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central. Untreated sleep apnea is potentially a deadly condition. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, a proper test and exam should be conducted.
Have you or your significant other noticed loud or excessive snoring?
Snoring is a result of vibrating in the soft tissues in the throat and soft palate due to airway restriction. Snoring is so common that it is often overlooked as a dangerous symptom of sleep apnea. In order to rule out sleep apnea, a proper sleep study test and examination must be completed. Other factors for snoring could include a sleeping position or a cold or other illness. If you are snoring on a regular basis, consult Dr. Pogue for proper treatment.
Are you using a CPAP machine but find it uncomfortable or aggravating?
A CPAP machine is a mask connected to a machine via an air hose that the patient wears throughout the night. It stands for continuous positive airway pressure machine and it works very well to deliver a steady flow of air while sleeping. The downside is that a CPAP machine can be uncomfortable, noisy or continuous use of the mask can even give patients a rash.
A great alternative is oral appliance therapy, or OAT which is a mouthpiece worn at night. It is great for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The device moves the lower jaw forward which allows more room for the soft tissues of the throat and opens up the airway.