Common Signs of Sleep Apnea

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Common Signs of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says this periodic cessation of sleep apneabreathing during a night's rest affects 25 million Americans--children, teens, and adults being among them. Thought to contribute to health problems such as stroke, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and more, sleep apnea can be treated successfully. Learn how sleep doctor Dr. Richard Bogan at Bogan Sleep Consultants in Columbia, SC can help.

What is sleep apnea?

Most cases of sleep apnea are what physicians and dentists call Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. Caused by the relaxation of the soft tissues at the back of the throat, OSA occurs when breathing stops, and patients startle awake. This oxygen deprivation and sleep disturbance can happen multiple times a night, resulting in a poor night's sleep, daytime fatigue, poor concentration, and memory and a host of other issues.

OSA is accompanied by frequent and excessively loud snoring. People with OSA snore because their soft palates and uvulas vibrate with the partially obstructed flow of air. Many individuals gasp for air or wake up needing to go to the bathroom.

Besides OSA, there are two other kinds of sleep apnea: Central Sleep Apnea, in which the respiratory system and brain do not communicate properly, and Mixed Sleep Apnea which combines features of OSA and CSA. All forms of this sleep disorder are potentially dangerous.

Risk factors

Sleep apnea can run in families. Additionally, being overweight, over 40 and a male increases your chances of developing this problem.

Treating sleep apnea

Treatment of sleep apnea begins with a consultation with your sleep doctor in Columbia. Dr. Bogan is board-certified in Sleep Medicine and understands the details and frustrations of sleep apnea. He will ask about your symptoms and your perceived sleep pattern. He'll ask about your medical history and, as needed, ask you to undergo a fully-monitored sleep study.

Typically done overnight at Bogan Sleep Consultants, a sleep study measures your vital signs (heart rate, respiration, temperature) and also monitors your eye, arm, and leg movements and wakefulness as you rest in our state-of-the-art sleep lab. Oxygenation and brain wave activity (EEG) are important measures, too.

After careful review of findings, Dr. Bogan may recommend sleep hygiene techniques such as:

  • Side sleeping
  • No food, alcohol, or TV before bed
  • A darkened bedroom and/or use of an eye shade
  • Same bedtime each night

Also, Dr. Bogan may advise oral appliance therapy, a custom-made acrylic mouth guard which places the chin forward and opens the airway. Some patients with CSA benefit from a CPAP machine. CPAP means Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This bedside apparatus delivers a constant stream of oxygen through a nasal mask to keep the back of the throat open.

Do you snore?

Consistent and loud snoring is a warning sign of something serious. If your loved ones say you snore, look into sleep apnea treatment with our sleep doctor at Bogan Sleep Consultants. Call today for an appointment in Columbia, SC, at (803) 251-3093!

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