Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you may have sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax. When the muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in. You can’t get enough air, which can lower the oxygen level in the blood. Your brain then senses your inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep to re-open the airway. You might snort, choke or gasp for air. This process can repeat itself 5-30 times or more each hour, impairing your ability to reach a deep, restful phase of sleep.
common signs & symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea
How do I treat my sleep apnea?
The first step in proper diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea is an at-home sleep test. You no longer have to go to a clinic and have someone monitor your sleep all night. It’s as easy as taking home what looks like a watch, and wearing it for a couple nights. Obstructive sleep apnea is classified by severity, calculated by the number of breathing pauses per hour.
Severe: over 30/hour
Treatment is based upon the severity of the sleep apnea. A CPAP machine is the gold standard for sleep apnea treatment. However, for mild to moderate cases in which a patient does not comply with wearing a CPAP device, oral appliances can be used and are extremely effective.
Dr. Jeffrey Wolfe has extra training in sleep apnea and uses his knowledge to meet his patients’ needs. Dr. Wolfe doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to sleep apnea. He wants to secure a solution that you’ll find both comfortable and effective. Contact our office today for an appointment.