Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Causes & Treatment
Sleep apnea is a relatively common condition in which sleep is disturbed because of irregular breathing or even cessation of breathing for short periods. It can lead to a wide range of symptoms. If left untreated, sleep apnea can even be life threatening.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is the most common form of this problem. With OSA, apnea occurs because the airways are blocked. Blockage can occur due to:
• Excess weight
• Lax muscles in the neck
• Overly large tongue
• Irregular shape of the palate
If you are overweight or obese, you are more likely to suffer from OSA. Other causes of apnea however, require additional treatment.
Symptoms of apnea are varied and can often be mistaken for other issues. These symptoms include:
• Excessive loud snoring
• Flu-like symptoms
• Extreme exhaustion
• Inability to concentrate
• Memory loss
If you experience any of these symptoms and are unable to determine a cause, treatment for apnea might be the answer. If you snore excessively and experience periods of breathing cessation during the night, you should see your doctor right away for diagnosis.
If your OSA is due to obesity, the most effective treatment is weight loss. In the meantime, though, other treatments are available. If your OSA can be traced to other causes, these treatments can help reduce or eliminate your apnea symptoms.
An orthotic mouthpiece, worn at night, can help hold your airways open, allowing you to breathe more normally, which prevents apnea episodes. A CPAP device is also commonly used to treat apnea. This device ensures a constant airflow into your lungs so that you sleep well, awaken refreshed, and avoid apnea symptoms.
If you believe you might be suffering from OSA or another form of apnea, please call the office of Dr. Chris Tye, serving Grapevine and surrounding areas, right away for an appointment or consultation. We can help diagnose your OSA and provide treatment that will have you on the road to restful, comfortable sleep.
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