Have you been told you snore? Do you feel groggy most mornings and have a difficult time concentrating? If this sounds like you, it’s possible you might have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder which can have some serious consequences. Your ear, nose, and throat specialist can help.
Sleep apnea is caused by the tissue at the back of your throat periodically relaxing while you sleep. The tissue may partially or totally block your airway, resulting in a lack of oxygen to your vital organs, including your brain and heart.
The lack of oxygen over time can increase your risk of:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- High blood pressure
You might be suffering from sleep apnea if you:
- Frequently snore
- Wake up with a headache in the morning
- Have a scratchy, dry, sore throat in the morning
- Wake up suddenly with a gasping or choking sensation
- Experience daytime grogginess, sleepiness, and difficulty concentrating
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, you should visit your ENT specialist for testing to determine if you have sleep apnea or other sleep disorder.
Your ENT specialist can treat sleep apnea with:
A Continuous Positive Air Pressure machine, known as a CPAP; the CPAP has a mask that fits over your mouth and nose. The mask is connected to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of oxygen while you sleep.
An Oral Mandibular Advancement Appliance; this is a small, portable mouthpiece which you wear while you sleep. The appliance holds your lower jaw in a forward position, keeping your airway open while you sleep.
If you think you might have sleep apnea, it’s important to see your ENT specialist for sleep testing. Sleep apnea needs to be treated to help prevent serious medical conditions. To learn more about the benefits of early detection and treatment of sleep apnea, talk with an expert. Call your ENT specialist today.