It's alarming to think that your breathing could be stopping multiple times during the night without you knowing. That is what happens when you have sleep apnea, a condition the experienced team at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. specializes in diagnosing and treating. At their locations in Kittery, Maine, and Stratham, New Hampshire, they can confirm whether you have sleep apnea and provide effective treatments like a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device to restore safe and healthy sleep. If you're worried about sleep apnea, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
Sleep apnea is a problem that causes you to stop breathing for short periods when you're asleep. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea, where the muscles in your throat become excessively relaxed, or excess tissue gets in the way when you breathe.
Less common is central sleep apnea, which is due to a brain dysfunction that affects the signals going between your brain and the muscles responsible for breathing. Some people have complex sleep apnea, in which obstructive and central sleep apnea combine.
Because you're asleep when you stop breathing, you're unlikely to be aware that you have sleep apnea. Although your body wakes you when your breathing stops, these periods are so brief you probably don't remember them the next day.
It's very often a partner or friend who notices you stop breathing at times, or they may comment on the loud, constant snoring. Less obvious signs that you might have sleep apnea include:
The frequent interruptions to your breathing that occur with sleep apnea affect the oxygen levels in your blood, leaving you chronically fatigued. Children are especially likely to become irritable when they have sleep apnea. The condition also increases your risk of developing major health conditions like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.
If there’s a chance you have sleep apnea, you can undergo a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis. You might need to wear a monitor on your arm at home while you sleep or have an overnight stay at the sleep center for more in-depth monitoring.
Treatments the Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. team provides for sleep apnea include:
You can wear an oral appliance in your mouth while you sleep to keep your jaw in a forward position, preventing airway blockages.
CPAP consists of a mask that you wear while you're asleep through which air under pressure goes into your throat. CPAP prevents your throat from closing, so you breathe in more oxygen and don't keep waking up.
Most patients benefit from conservative treatments. However, if your sleep apnea isn't improving, the Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. team can perform minimally invasive surgery to remove any excess tissue from your throat and nose.
They might also repair a deviated septum or remove nasal polyps if they're making your sleep apnea worse.
If you have any sleep apnea symptoms or your snoring is becoming a serious concern, call Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. today, or book an appointment online.