Over 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, a serious disorder that causes breathing difficulty during sleep. With sleep apnea, there are pauses in breathing during sleep that result in lower levels of oxygen in your blood. Loud snoring may be the signal that something is seriously wrong. It occurs because the airway is not fully open, and the noise of snoring comes from the effort to force air through the narrowed passageway.
Your body will fight to get the oxygen it needs. If your airway is constricted, it may wake you up a little or it may wake you up a lot. In either case, the depth of your sleep will be impaired. If you are experiencing chronic fatigue or daytime sleepiness or are waking up tired every day, you may have sleep apnea, which is associated with an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as a higher risk of having an automobile accident.
There are multiple options for treatment of sleep apnea, and the Sleep Center, our affiliated physicians and dentists can help you find the treatment that is right for you. Positive Airway Pressure is the most common and most effective non-invasive treatment. The Sleep Center can determine the pressure needed for your effective PAP treatment and can facilitate initiation of this therapy. Oral Appliance Therapy is an alternative therapy for sleep apnea. The Sleep Center performs oral appliance titrations to determine the exact setting for effective oral appliance therapy. Surgical options are also available as therapy for apnea or as an aid to effective PAP therapy.
Treatment can improve overall health and quality of life. Though not all snorers have sleep apnea. A proper diagnosis is essential to rule out this condition. If you feel you have a problem, you should first consult with your primary physician. Talk to your doctor about snoring, fatigue, and other sleep problems. If you and your doctor feel that you would benefit from a sleep evaluation, the staff of the Sleep Center is prepared to provide a complete diagnosis at our state-of-the-art sleep center.