If you snore occasionally, it’s probably nothing to worry about. If you find yourself waking up gasping for breath, you could have something else. You could have sleep apnea, a condition that can potentially shorten your life. Our ENT doctor can diagnose and treat sleep apnea, for a more restful sleep.
What You Need To Know About Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is different than occasional snoring. So, how can you tell if you are dealing with sleep apnea? When you have sleep apnea, you may experience:
- Frequent, loud snoring
- Waking up with a gasping or choking feeling
- Morning headaches or sore throats
- Daytime grogginess and difficulty focusing
These signs and symptoms are caused by tissue at the back of your throat relaxing while you sleep. The tissue blocks your airway, causing oxygen deprivation to your vital organs, including your heart and brain. The lack of oxygen increases your risk of:
- Having memory problems
- Developing Alzheimer’s disease
- Having a stroke
- Developing heart disease
- Shortening your lifespan
If you think you might have sleep apnea, your ENT doctor can test you for the condition. You may need an in-house sleep study, or you may wear a monitor at home, or your doctor may want you to do both. If your ENT doctor determines you have sleep apnea, your ENT doctor may recommend:
Having you wear a CPAP, which is a device that provides a continuous flow of oxygen while you sleep. The device is hooked up to a facepiece which you wear during the night.
Having you wear an oral mandibular advancement appliance, which is a small, portable dental appliance you wear while sleeping. The device holds your lower jaw forward, maintaining an open airway while you sleep.
Want To Know More?
Don't let sleep apnea keep you awake at night, when relief is just a phone call away. To find out more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of sleep apnea, talk with an expert. Call our ENT doctor today.