If you snore loudly and often, you could be among the 22 million American adults who experience sleep apnea. At ENT & Allergy Specialists of VA, PC in Ashburn, Virginia, the experienced team understands how disruptive sleep apnea can be. They offer a range of practical solutions to restore your restful sleep and general health. Book an appointment online now or call the office to learn more about sleep apnea treatment.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which you experience many breathing interruptions as you sleep. These episodes may happen as many as 400 times in a single night.
The two primary forms of sleep apnea are:
More than 90% of people with sleep apnea have obstructive sleep apnea. In obstructive sleep apnea, a blockage in your airway disrupts your breathing. This happens because your throat’s soft tissues — muscles, tongue, tonsils, uvula, and excess fatty tissue — relax, blocking your airway.
Central sleep apnea is a rare form of the condition. It’s caused by a breakdown in the communication between your brain and throat muscles. Essentially, the muscles that help you breathe don’t activate because the brain never issues the signal or something interrupts the signaling process.
Many people who have sleep apnea don’t know it, so it’s essential to be aware of its symptoms.
Snoring is the most obvious symptom of sleep apnea. You might not know that you snore, but others in your home will probably tell you about it. Sometimes, you snore particularly loudly or forcefully and startle yourself awake.
Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
If you have any of these symptoms and it’s starting to disrupt your life, schedule a sleep apnea assessment at ENT & Allergy Specialists of VA, PC right away.
Diagnosing sleep apnea includes:
In some cases, the team will recommend either a home sleep study or a study at a sleep center to make a definitive diagnosis.
Sleep apnea treatments can include oral appliances that slightly reposition your jaw to help to keep your airways clear. You could also use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which adds air pressure to the air you inhale to keep your airways open.
For sleep apnea caused by anatomical obstructions, like a large uvula, you might need surgery to remove the excess tissue. If you have nasal blockages that limit your air, like a deviated septum or other sinus problems, endoscopic sinus surgery can help.
To again breathe freely at night, schedule an appointment with ENT & Allergy Specialists of VA, PC. Call the office or go online to schedule.