Top Sleep Apnea Treatments
Sleep apnea is a common, yet serious, sleep disorder that can affect your well-being in a variety of ways. Many people who have sleep apnea aren’t aware of it, but once it’s properly diagnosed, several different treatments options are available.
In this blog, Dr. Samit Malhotra, a board-certified sleep doctor with Sleep & Neuroscience Associates, outlines some of the top sleep apnea treatments.
What is sleep apnea, and how dangerous is it?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to stop breathing repeatedly during the night. Anyone can have it, but you’re at greater risk if you’re older, male, and are overweight.
The health consequences of sleep apnea can be very serious. Some symptoms can affect the way you feel every day, and some can have serious, long-term consequences.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Chronic loud snoring
- Pauses in breathing that are witnessed by another person
- Feeling excessively sleepy during the day, which increases your chances of having an accident while driving or at work
- Morning headache
- Sore throat or dry mouth when you wake up
- Reduced ability to concentrate
- Increased risk of high blood pressure or heart problems
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Your doctor may suspect sleep apnea based on your symptoms and other factors, but a sleep study is the only way to definitively confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea.
Also called a polysomnography test, this study monitors and records your body’s functions as you sleep. This data – which includes your heart rate, breathing, brain waves, movements, and oxygen levels – will give your doctor the information needed to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, such as restless legs syndrome.
A sleep study is often performed in a sleep center, where sensors will be attached to you to monitor what happens to your body as you sleep. In some cases, an at-home sleep study can be conducted, but it’s not appropriate in every case.
What are the top sleep apnea treatments?
Treatment options can depend on the severity of your sleep apnea. They can include the following:
- Lifestyle modifications – these include losing weight if you need to, sleeping on your side instead of your back, avoiding the use of alcohol or sleeping aids, quitting smoking, and/or getting regular exercise
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine – helps keep your airways open at night by increasing air pressure in your throat
- Oral appliances – custom-made devices worn at night help coax your jaw and tongue gently forward to help keep your airway open
- Medication –can help treat sleep apnea in some cases, depending on its severity
- Surgery – can be recommended if more conservative treatments aren’t effective and a structural abnormality (such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum) is causing your airway to be blocked
Why should you see Dr. Malhotra for sleep apnea treatments?
Dr. Malhotra is the best sleep doctor in the southern Connecticut area, and he specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. He’s board-certified in sleep medicine and neurology and is fellowship trained from Stanford University’s prestigious sleep medicine program.
He’s dedicated to providing compassionate, effective care that will help you sleep better and improve your overall health and well-being.
If you snore or have other signs of sleep apnea, make an appointment today with Sleep & Neuroscience Associates to take the first step toward effective treatment – and a good night’s sleep!