If you’re one of the estimated 22 million Americans suffering from sleep apnea, it’s likely that you feel tired even after eight hours in bed. At the practice of Jason H. Kim, MD, a board-certified otolaryngologist and experienced head, face, and neck surgeon in Fullerton, California, you can get the treatment you need to get a good night’s sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea prevents you from breathing properly while you sleep and can lead to a variety of more serious health conditions, if it’s left untreated. Learn more about sleep apnea by scheduling an evaluation by phone or online.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop and start breathing repeatedly while you’re asleep. Left untreated, sleep apnea often leads to complications from high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, and stroke. It can also cause cardiovascular problems and is associated with depression and Type 2 diabetes.
The most common form of this disorder is obstructive sleep apnea in which you experience repeated airway blockage. Your oral soft tissue and tongue collapse against the back of your throat while you sleep, blocking the airway. As a result, you may snore loudly, choke, and gasp for air during sleep.
Central sleep apnea is less common, and occurs when your brain doesn’t send signals to control your breath as you sleep. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both conditions.
It’s common to experience daytime drowsiness, waking up to a dry mouth, and trouble concentrating, if you have sleep apnea. Other symptoms include:
Additional health complications are common if you leave sleep apnea untreated. You may experience heart and liver problems, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome — a condition that’s the result of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels. Sleep apnea can also put a strain on personal relationships, especially when your partner isn’t able to get a good night’s sleep as a result of your loud snoring.
One of the most common treatments for sleep apnea is using a breathing machine that regulates airway pressure while you sleep. A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine consists of a mask you wear over your nose and mouth that connects to a machine. The machine regulates airflow while you sleep so your muscles don’t relax enough to allow the soft tissue to collapse and block your throat.
Oral appliances that you wear while you sleep may also help prevent your tongue from collapsing and blocking your airway. Dr. Kim thoroughly examines your mouth, nose, and throat to determine what’s causing your sleep apnea and prescribes a customized treatment plant to offer long-term relief.
If you feel tired every day, and family members have complained about your loud snoring, you could have sleep apnea. Schedule an exam at the office of Jason H. Kim, MD, by phone or through the online booking system. The practice serves those in Fullerton, CA, and all of Orange County.