Types of Sleep Apnea
There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the more common of the two forms of sleep apnea. It is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breath. This may be due to instability in the respiratory control center.
Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical problem. If left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk for heart failure and stroke. The ongoing state of fatigue caused by sleep apnea may lead to problems at school or work as well as danger when driving or operating heavy machinery. Sleep apnea can also cause complications with medications or surgery.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Sleep apnea treatments vary depending on the severity of each patient's case and the type of apnea involved. It is important to remember that sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a physician. Once a diagnosis is made, dental intervention is often extremely effective. Basic treatments may simply be behavioral, and include: losing weight, regular exercise, or sleeping on the side rather than the back. If basic sleep apnea treatments fail to work, there are three options: an oral sleep appliance, CPAP, or surgery.Oral devices can be used to position the mouth in such a way that it prevents throat blockage. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, and is usually worn as a mask with air flowing into the nose and/or mouth.
Sleep apnea is a very serious condition that has harmful effects on your health. Call us today to schedule your consultation if you have been diagnosed with, or are noticing any of the signs of sleep apnea.