Sleep apnea is a major sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is disturbed during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, it could be hundreds of times during the night.
If it’s not treated, sleep apnea might cause a number of health issues, including stroke, hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the muscle tissue of the heart), diabetes, heart failure, and heart attacks. Untreated sleep apnea can also be responsible for job impairment, work-related injuries, and motor vehicle crashes, as well as underachievement in school in children and adolescents.
There are mainly two types of sleep apnea, obstructive and central:
Obstructive sleep apnea treatment in Rancho Cucamonga, CA is the more common of the two. Obstructive sleep apnea happens as repetitive episodes of complete or partial upper airway blockage during sleep. During an apneic episode, the chest muscles and the diaphragm work harder as the pressure increases to open the airway. Breathing typically resumes with a loud gasp or the complete body jerk. These episodes could interfere with sound sleep, minimize the flow of oxygen to vital organs, and lead to heart rhythm irregularities.
In central sleep apnea, the airway does not get blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, typically when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. Central sleep apnea is usually observed in people with central nervous system dysfunction, such as following a stroke or in patients with neuromuscular diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is also quite common in patients with heart failure and other forms of kidney, heart, or lung disease.
Often the first signs of sleep apnea are recognized not by the patient, but by the bed partner. Many of those affected have absolutely no sleep complaints. The most common symptoms and signs of OSA include:
People with central sleep apnea mostly often report recurrent awakenings or insomnia, although they might also experience a choking or gasping feeling upon awakening.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy
This is one of the main treatments for sleep apnea. It keeps the airway open by slowly providing a constant stream of positive pressure air through a mask. Some people have problems using CPAP and completely stop the treatment before achieving any lasting benefit. However, a lot of measures might help make the equipment more comfortable, and the adjustment period smooth.
Various surgical procedures might widen the airway in people with OSA. Surgery could stiffen or shrink obstructing tissue, or completely remove excess tissue or enlarged tonsils. Depending on the extent of the surgery, the person might undergo the procedure in a doctor’s office or a hospital.
Mandibular repositioning device (MRD)
This is a customized oral appliance suitable for individuals with mild or moderate sleep apnea. The mouthpiece holds the jaw in the front position during sleep to expand the space behind the tongue. This helps keep the upper airway open, preventing snoring and apnea. Side effects of an MRD might include jaw or tooth pain, and potential aggravation of the temporomandibular joint disease.
Some drugs might help with CSA but should only be used after consulting with a sleep specialist. Examples include:
However, these medicines can have severe adverse effects and may not be suitable for everyone