Find out how to get more restful sleep and manage your sleep apnea symptoms at the same time.
Have you just recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea? Has a partnered been diagnosed? Then chances are good you are wondering what treatment options are out there to help you. Our Columbia, SC, sleep doctor, Dr. Richard Bogan, offers up answers about this sleep problem and how symptoms are best controlled.
What is sleep apnea?
This is one of the most common sleep disorders that affects millions of American adults. Of course, many people with this problem don’t even realize that they have it. When those with sleep apnea sleep they experience moments where they stop breathing throughout the night. These bouts of breathing cessations may only last a couple of seconds but continue to happen countless times throughout the night. One person may experience hundreds of breathing cessations while they sleep.
Why does this sleep disorder need to be treated?
Not treating your sleep apnea will do more than make mornings unbearable. Since this condition causes the sufferer to stop breathing throughout the night this means that the brain isn’t getting the proper amount of oxygen it needs. As a result, those with untreated obstructive sleep apnea are also more likely to develop chronic and potentially serious health conditions, such as:
- Heart disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Not to mention the fact that experiencing poor sleep day in and day out can also affect your concentration, energy levels and mood swings. Those with untreated sleep apnea are also prone to workplace-related injuries.
What are my treatment options?
CPAP is the most commonly used sleep apnea treatment. At bedtime the wearer will place the mask over their nose and/or mouth to deliver a steady amount of pressure into the airways to keep the tissue in the back of the throat from collapsing (a common cause of obstructive sleep apnea).
On top of using CPAP equipment every night there are also some simple lifestyle changes that you can implement to help manage your symptoms and improve the quality of your sleep, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if you are overweight or obese. Those who are overweight are more likely to deal with sleep apnea and experience more severe symptoms.
- Avoiding or limiting alcohol consumption and sleeping pills
- Quitting smoking, which can cause inflammation of the airways
Sometimes those with only minor sleep apnea symptoms may be able to control their condition with a simple oral appliance. This custom oral device could even replace your CPAP equipment altogether, so talk to one of our Columbia sleep specialists about whether oral appliance therapy could be all you need to get your sleep back on track.
Are you experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea? If so, it’s important that you get the treatment you need as soon as possible. Call the sleep experts at Bogan Sleep Consultants in Columbia, SC.