Treatments for Sleep Disorders

We all know how annoying it can be when you have one or two nights of restless sleep. For those who have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, it goes beyond annoying and can even be dangerous. However, you don’t have to live with your sleep disorder, thanks to CPAP technology and other options. 

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is when a patient has problems breathing when they are sleeping. It can cause very labored breathing, or can result in the patient not breathing for up to a minute. When they do start breathing again, they have to gasp for air. Sleep apnea can cause irritability, loud snoring, dry mouth, headaches, and difficulty staying awake during the day. In the long term, it can cause metabolic and liver problems and high blood pressure. 

Men, older adults, and patients with asthma, Parkinson disease, type 2 diabetes, or high blood pressure are more likely to have sleep apnea. Those who smoke, are overweight, or who have problems with nasal congestion also have an increased risk of sleep apnea. 

Treatment options for sleep apnea

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are a common treatment for sleep apnea. This machine helps to get air into the patient’s airway. However, some people find their CPAP machine uncomfortable, as it involves wearing a mask hooked up to a tube all night, which can be cumbersome. 

There are other options available, though, such as oral appliances. These are custom-made mouthpieces that move the jaw and tongue so that more air gets into the airway. Many patients report that oral appliances are much more convenient, comfortable, and noninvasive than CPAP machines. 

Other options include cognitive behavior therapy, a delicate oral vacuum placed in the mouth that helps to keep the airway open, medication, or even surgery. Lifestyle modifications – such as losing weight and quitting smoking – may be recommended before trying any of these other options. 

You don’t have to live with sleep problems. Call Sleep & Neuroscience Associates in Greenwich, CT, at 203-653-3519 to make an appointment so that you can find out why you aren’t sleeping and how they can help!

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