Think you might have sleep apnea? Here’s what to do about it…
Do you find yourself feeling exhausted most of the day? Do you need to nap in the afternoon or find yourself nodding off at your desk? Does your partner complain about your loud snoring? If so, these could all be signs of sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing for seconds at a time throughout the night. If you suspect that you or your partner might have sleep apnea, our Columbia, SC, sleep doctor Dr. Richard Bogan is here to help.
Do I have sleep apnea?
It’s important to recognize the warning signs of obstructive sleep apnea so you can turn to our Columbia, SC, sleep team as soon as possible. Sleep apnea is not something you want to ignore, and delaying treatment could impact your health. Signs of sleep apnea include,
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Waking up exhausted (despite getting enough sleep each night)
- Dozing off during the day
- Increased mood swings and irritability
- Tossing and turning at night
- Morning headaches
- Pauses in breathing or making choking sounds at night
- Brain fog and trouble concentrating
What should I expect when visiting a sleep doctor?
If you’ve never visited a sleep doctor before you may not be sure what to expect from this visit. Dr. Bogan will go through your medical history and ask you questions regarding your symptoms. If we also suspect that you have sleep apnea, then we will recommend undergoing a sleep study. A sleep study helps us to monitor you as you sleep to be able to detect sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. A sleep study is the only way to truly diagnose someone with sleep apnea, and you’ll need a sleep specialist for this.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Once we’ve analyzed the results of your sleep study we will have you come back into our office so that we can create a treatment plan. Your treatment plan will vary based on certain factors including the severity of your symptoms. Those with mild sleep apnea may find an improvement through oral appliance therapy and simple lifestyle modifications such as losing weight, quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol.
Those with more moderate to severe sleep apnea will usually require CPAP therapy to effectively manage symptoms while they sleep. A CPAP machine helps keep airways open while the person sleeps, which helps you wake up feeling rested and also reduces the risk for heart disease, diabetes and other health problems that are linked to untreated sleep apnea.
It’s important that you don’t ignore the warning signs of sleep apnea. Our Columbia, SC, sleep physician Dr. Bogan and the team at Bogan Sleep Consultants can provide you with the diagnosis and treatment you need. To schedule a sleep study, call us at (803) 251-3093.