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Sleep Apnea Treatment Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea, more commonly called sleep apnea, is a medical condition which affects the soft tissues of the throat and causes them to become lax or loosened. This makes them descend into your airway when you’re asleep. These descended tissues can block airflow and cause you to stop breathing.

These interruptions can be brief and last only a moment or they can go for longer periods. They usually occur multiple times a night and can seriously interfere with your sleep cycle. Symptoms can be mild to nonexistent or they can be bad enough to cause snoring, snorting, or choking while asleep.

Does everyone who snores have sleep apnea?

While snoring does frequently accompany sleep apnea, it’s not a guarantee that you have the condition. Snoring can be caused by allergies, clogged sinus passages, and colds.

Also, not every person with sleep apnea will snore. If you experience repeated snoring in addition to other signs such as forgetfulness, moodiness, daytime drowsiness, problems concentrating, and falling asleep during the day, you should contact Dr. Hahn to be evaluated for sleep apnea. This will be especially true if you wake up gasping for air or choking.

What problems can sleep apnea cause?

Sleep apnea is linked to the increased likelihood of developing heart disease and suffering heart attacks, high blood pressure, obesity, having a stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and cognitive conditions. The interruptions can also increase the likelihood of being involved in a fatigued car accident.

What treatments for sleep apnea are available?

If your sleep apnea is mild, a night guard can shift the lower jaw forward and keep the airway clear. Dr. Hahn offers mouthguards that are specially made to fit your mouth and will be comfortable to wear during sleep.

If your sleep apnea is more severe, surgery, laser therapy, and continuous positive airway pressure machines are beneficial. These allow you to rest without the breathing interruptions.’

Dr. Hahn can help you figure out which treatment is best for your unique case of sleep apnea. Call the office in Charlotte or book an appointment using the online tool.

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