Do you feel that you have been snoring more heavily than usual? Are you waking up your partner with your snoring?
There are many signs that you may be afflicted with sleep apnea, from daytime sleepiness and headaches in the morning to insomnia and reduced sex drive. Sleep apnea is not to be taken lightly—its recorded long-term effects are very serious (diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure are just a few examples), and it can also bring severe mood changes.
While sleep apnea can sometimes be remedied through lifestyle changes, some severe cases require more care.
If you’re a Texan suffering from sleep apnea, Dr. Name at Clinic has solutions for sleep apnea Houston, TX. But not every sleep apnea patient is the same; with this in mind, Dr. Name designs custom treatment plans to bring you relief.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Snoring occurs when you stop breathing during sleep. If you are a chronic snorer, this may be a sign of a deeper underlying condition, known as sleep apnea.
When a sleeping person’s breathing is stopped for 10 seconds or more, it’s called an apnea. Most patients of sleep apnea are unaware when their breathing stops while sleeping, because the condition does not lead to awakening.
There are three types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This occurs due to airway blockage, which occurs due to the rear soft tissue of the throat collapsing and closing during sleep, consequently disrupting normal breathing patterns.
Central Sleep Apnea
As opposed to obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to communicate with the central nervous system. Consequently, the airway muscles do not receive the signal to breathe.
Mixed Sleep Apnea
As the name implies, this is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
These are the telltale symptoms of sleep apnea that we seen most commonly at our clinic in Houston TX:
Possibly the strongest indicator of sleep apnea is chronic snoring. It happens most commonly to older people, and those who are overweight.
Some signs of chronic snoring are:
- waking up unrefreshed
- excessive daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy)
- irritability and fatigue during the day
- waking up with a dry throat.
Waking Up During the Night
Have you ever found yourself waking up with a gasping or choking sensation? Or has your partner ever woken you up thinking you had stopped breathing? That is a sure sign of sleep apnea.
If you feel tired despite getting 6-8 hours of sleep or taking sleep medicine, or if you feel you do not wake up refreshed, this is a sign of sleep apnea. You may also feel excessively sleepy in the daytime.
People who suffer from sleep apnea patients have high levels of ghrelin, the hormone which makes you feel hungry. To make things worse, they also tend to have low levels of leptin, the hormone which makes you feel full. This combination causes one to eat a lot more than you’re supposed to, leading to weight gain.
Furthermore, the disruptions in your sleep can also lead to lower energy and motivation levels, making it difficult for you to commit to a workout plan.
Do you feel as though your memory is growing weak? Do you have trouble concentrating at work? Do you tend to feel irritated with your co-workers or people around you? These are symptoms of loud snoring and possibly sleep apnea, which disrupt sleep and impair brain function.
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis
Sleep studies are used to diagnose sleep apnea. In order for Doctor Name to determine whether you have sleep apnea, they will order a nocturnal polysomnography, which is a type of sleep study. At our sleep clinic, you’ll be connected to monitoring equipment which tracks the activity of your brain, lungs and heart. Your leg movements, breathing patterns and blood oxygen levels will also be monitored to determine whether you require treatment.
Alternatively, Dr. Name might order a home sleep test to diagnose you, which is a sleep study involving the use of portable monitoring devices which perform the same function as nocturnal polysomnography equipment.
How Sleep Apnea is Treated at Our Sleep Center Houston TX
If lifestyle adjustments are not working out in mitigating your sleep apnea, new patients can avail a number of treatment options at our sleep clinic Houston:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
This is the gold standard for sleep apnea treatments. You will have to wear a mask over your mouth and nose, and the machine will ensure you get a constant flow of air pressure during sleep. This keeps the airway open all night, preventing the possibility of an apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Despite the effectiveness of CPAP, it can be quite uncomfortable for many patients. A viable alternative is oral appliance therapy, during which a customized mouthpiece is worn during sleep to keep the airway open. These work by:
- stabilizing your jaw and tongue
- repositioning your tongue, soft palate and lower jaw
- supporting your muscles so that airway collapses do not occur.
In severe cases, some patients do not respond to CPAP or oral appliance therapy. In such a case, surgical treatment may be considered. Each patient has a different obstruction: of the tongue, nose, throat, or upper respiratory tract. The surgery will depend on the obstruction, like so:
UPPP is the most common surgery to treat sleep apnea. During the procedure, tissue is removed from the pharynx and soft palate. The tonsils may also be removed.
Obstruction can be caused by the turbinates, septum or nasal valve. Turbinates can be reduced in size; the septum may be straightened out; the nasal valve can be strengthened with cartilage, depending on the specific issue.
Soft Palate Implants
The soft palate is stiffened using three polyester rods.
In this surgery the small hyoid bone is repositioned in order to prevent the tongue from falling back, which obstructs the airway.
In a similar way, here the main tongue muscles are moved forward.
Lower Jaw Advancement
The entire upper airway is enlarged during this complicated procedure. This occurs through the expansion of the skeletal framework that encircles the airway.
Tongue Base Reduction
Here, the tongue’s base is reduced. This is done through either excision or using repeated radiofrequency treatment.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Name
If you feel you may be suffering from sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Name at our sleep clinic in Houston TX. Just call [number] today. We can help you start sleeping better and regain your quality of life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do I Snore?
It is caused by numerous factors, such as the anatomy of your mouth or sinus; allergies; being overweight; alcohol consumption or frequently eating heavy meals. If you’re an older person, snoring may be occurring due to a large tongue; too much throat tissue; or a nasal airway obstruction.
Is Snoring A Sign Of Sleep Apnea?
Not necessarily. However, a person who snores chronically might be suffering from sleep apnea.
Who Is More Likely To Have Sleep Apnea?
You are more likely to develop sleep apnea if you:
- are obese
- have a small lower jaw and deep overbite
- have excessively large adenoids and tonsils
- have a family history for sleep apnea
- are elderly.
What Happens If I Don’t Treat My Sleep Apnea?
High blood pressure, memory loss, weight gain, stroke, heart disease, depression, diabetes, impotence, and gastric reflux are some of the common long-term effects of sleep apnea.
If you’re suffering from restricted breathing while sleeping, or note that your days feel much more tiring, visit our sleep clinic to get checked for sleep apnea Houston, TX. Dr. Name will help you come up with a solution!