There are three different kinds of sleep apnea. They are central, obstructive and mixed. The most common of the three is obstructive. This is considered a serious disorder because it causes breathing to stop and start throughout the patient's sleep cycle. It is caused by the throat muscles relaxing so much that they stop the patient from being able to breathe.
If you have awakened suddenly gasping for air or choking or you are extremely sleepy during the day because you are not getting enough rest at night you could be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Other symptoms can include headaches when waking up and not being able to concentrate in the daytime, changes in mood, and sweating at night.
Central sleep apnea happens when the brain fails to control the muscles needing for breathing. This is far less common than obstructive sleep apnea, but just as serious. A CPAP machine can treat this type quite well as can supplemental oxygen. Mixed sleep apnea is just as it sounds a mixture of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Treatment Options Available
There are a number of different treatment options available for sleep apnea. The first set address possible lifestyle changes to improve the symptoms. Losing weight can improve breathing during sleep. Regular exercise can help as well. Using allergy medications can help open up airways. If you are a smoker, work to minimize the amount you smoke and work toward completely quitting. Avoid taking sleeping pills and try to not sleep on your back. All of these can alleviate some if not all of the symptoms.
If the lifestyle changes do not give the relief you were hoping for, there are other options we can provide. Using a CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machine can hold the airway open while patients sleep. Mouthpieces can be worn to also adjust the jaw to help airflow. We can address all of your sleep apnea concerns.