Sleep apnea is a common and very serious condition in which a person’s breathing is interrupted, becomes shallow or even stops altogether throughout their nightly sleep cycles. Those who have sleep apnea not only tend to be excessive snorers, but can encounter difficulty focusing and staying awake during the day and can even develop serious physical and emotional problems. For those who require Atlanta sleep apnea treatment, there are many options available that can help you regain control of your life and health.
About Sleep Apnea
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that up to 12 million people across the world suffer from sleep apnea. The disease has a direct and measurable effect on the quality of life of those who suffer with it. It results in interrupted sleep cycles, which in turn cause chronic exhaustion during the day. This means patients have difficulty staying awake and focused and may even suffer from depression and other mood disorders due to a lack of proper rest.
More serious complications can arise many years after the condition first presents. These include cardiovascular disease and disorders and even cancer. There have been relationships noted between sleep apnea and diabetes as well as cholesterol and blood pressure problems. One thing that is clear: those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) should seek treatment.
CPAP and Air Pressure Devices
One of the more common treatments for OSA is the CPAP device. This machine works by delivering constant air pressure through a mask worn while sleeping. Since the air pressure (which is usually fairly gentle) is constant, this prevents the airways from closing up and thus makes sure that the patient keeps breathing throughout the night.
Other air pressure devices sometimes used in lieu of the CPAP are the BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) and EPAP (expiratory positive airway pressure) devices.
Since OSA generally results from something causing the air passages to close off during sleep, oral appliances molded to your mouth and designed to keep your throat open are sometimes used. For those who have difficulty with CPAP machines, or who want to try something simpler first, these are often an option.
There are certain prescription medications that sometimes deliver relief, especially to those who don’t have exceptionally serious cases. Talk to your ENT doctor to see if medication is a possible treatment for your OSA.
In severe cases where other treatment options have simply not been successful, surgery may be an indicated treatment. Through surgery, the excess tissue that causes blockage in the nose and throat is removed. This results in a more open airway that is less likely to obstruct airways during the night. Surgery can involve removing nasal polyps, straightening the septum, or the Pillar Procedure.
Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you live in the Atlanta area and think you may suffer from sleep apnea, don’t wait. Call Atlanta ENT to schedule an appointment for diagnosis and to discuss treatment for your illness today. We can help restore your breathing and sleep so you can get your life back.