Statistics show that around 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.
This condition can cause serious and debilitating illnesses. However, it can many times be easily treated by the best ENT doctor in Orange County.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is defined as a sleep disorder that causes episodes of interrupted breathing while a person sleeps. The person may experience breathing that suddenly stops and starts while he or she is asleep. There are three types of sleep apnea that a person can suffer from at any given time.
The first type of sleep apnea, called obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when the person’s throat muscles relax when he or she is sleeping. The relaxed muscles cause the person to stop breathing, which can then cause the individual to wake up gasping for breath.
The second variety is called central sleep apnea, which occurs when the brain does not send signals to the body to remind it to keep breathing. The person may also wake up struggling to breathe.
The last kind is called complex sleep apnea. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea
Sleep apnea presents itself through a number of clear symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Loud snoring
- Episodes of interrupted breathing
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Morning headaches
- Difficulty staying asleep
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, especially repeated bouts of gasping for breath during your sleep, you should seek treatment from the best ENT doctor in Orange County.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
The best ENT doctor in Orange County may treat your sleep apnea in a variety of different ways. Depending on the type of sleep apnea you suffer from, the best ENT doctor in Orange County may prescribe a CPAP machine to you. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and prevents your body from forgetting to breathe while you sleep.
If you do not respond to a CPAP machine or your sleep apnea is more severe, your doctor may recommend that you undergo surgery to remove tissue from the back and top of your throat. Removal of this tissue, which can include your tonsils, may prevent your throat from being blocked while you sleep.
You also may undergo a jaw repositioning surgery, which essentially enlarges the space between your tongue and the soft palate in your mouth. It widens the airway, which may prevent your throat from relaxing and closing while you are sleeping.
Finally, your doctor could recommend that you undergo nerve stimulation, which involves stimulating the nerve that controls the movement of the tongue and helps keep the tongue in its proper position while you sleep. This treatment is still relatively new, however, and is often used less often than other forms of treatment.
Sleep apnea can cause health issues like high blood pressure and heart disease. You can undergo treatment for it and get a proper night’s rest by seeking treatment for it at an ENT clinic today.