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Jeffrey Carl DMD
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What is Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common and severe sleep condition characterized by bouts of breathlessness or shallow breathing pauses that could last seconds to minutes and could occur more than 30 times an hour during sleep. Sleep apnea is mainly characterized by loud snoring, choking, or snorting at night when one sleeps. These breathing pauses cause a decrease in oxygen supply, affect the quality of sleep, and cause serious health complications such as heart disease and a spike in blood pressure. Sleep apnea can affect people of all types and ages. Our professionals at Jeffrey Carl DMD can help treat your sleep problems.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is caused by the relaxation of the muscles that block the airway. When we sleep, our muscles naturally relax, but our airway muscles are open all through the night, enough to let air pass through. However, the airway gets blocked and halts breathing due to certain conditions called apnea. Some factors that cause or increase OSA risk include obesity, skull malformations, a large tongue and tonsils or neck, aging, and certain lifestyle habits like smoking. OSA causes complications like fatigue and drowsiness during the day due to interrupted sleep as you can't reach restful sleep phases. This might also lower your concentration levels and make you irritable. OSA also causes cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attacks. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the respiration control center in your brain fails to send a message to the breathing system to contract and expand, causing pauses in breathing or shallow breathing. It is a central nervous system malfunction and is common in people with specific conditions like heart failure, asthma, and kidney disease. Individuals with neuromuscular malfunctions like Lou Gehrig's disease are also susceptible to sleep apnea. Complex sleep apnea is recommended for emergency treatment as this type of apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea. Treatment for this usually involves a series of combined therapies.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea treatment varies on the seriousness of the condition. Mild cases call for lifestyle changes like quitting smoking. You may be recommended for therapies, such as breathing and sleep position therapies, and psychological therapies for stress and anxiety. Medication may also be provided to relieve stress and pressure on the airway muscles. For patients with serious cases of sleep apnea, treatment devices may be used to assist in breathing during the night. A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device helps keep the airway open by sending air pressure through a mask worn at night. In some severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may be recommended to remove the obstruction in the airway in OSA. Malformation of the upper palate region of the oral cavity results in a narrow airway and can be corrected by manipulating the bony structure. Our experts at Jeffrey Carl DMD can help you live, breathe and sleep better. Book an appointment with us by calling (541) 918-2361.
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What Is Sleep Apnea?
Jeffrey Carl, DMD, 3120 Pacific Place SW, Albany, OR 97321-3568 ^ (541) 918-2361 ^ ^ 6/2/2024 ^ Related Phrases: dentist Albany OR ^