Sleep apnea is a common, but potentially devastating, health condition. It’s linked to a wide range of medical problems, including cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, and stroke. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available.
The most common method of treating sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). A mask fitted to a patient’s face provides constant air pressure. This reduces the amount of brief awakenings caused by sleep-disordered breathing.
However, many patients don’t like using CPAP because the mask is uncomfortable. Also, the device often doesn’t work for them.
Another method of treating OSA is through surgery. If the problem isn’t too severe, enlargement of the tonsils or adenoids might be an effective solution.
But it’s important to ask your doctor if surgery is an option. Untreated OSA can lead to other complications, including heart attack, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Surgery can also interfere with other treatments for the disease.
One method of getting a diagnosis is to take a home sleep test. Home testing equipment includes a small data collection unit and sensors that can be used in the privacy of your own home.
In addition, you can visit a dentist to see if you have sleep apnea. Your dentist can examine your tongue and throat and point out any irregularities. When you stop breathing hundreds of times per night, your tongue can collapse to the back of your throat.
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common than central sleep apnea, which happens when the brain doesn’t signal the body to breathe.