Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Soft tissues in the throat can relax and are the primary cause of obstructive sleep apnea. The tongue and soft palate are the most common sources of concern. When this happens, the airway is blocked and the sleep apnea sufferer stops breathing for 10 to 30 seconds. This issue can occur up to 400 times each night.
One of the biggest concerns for those who experience sleep apnea is the comorbidities that are associated with the condition. Stomach and cardiovascular conditions are commonly linked to sleep apnea, meaning that sufferers are at risk of developing life-threatening medical issues.
The diagnosis of sleep apnea takes place in a medical setting where it is possible for the patient to complete a sleep study. Post diagnosis, sleep apnea sufferers should consider pursuing treatment from a qualified physician.
OSA is an alarmingly common condition. It is estimated that nearly 1 in 5 American adults has mild OSA and 1 in 15 has moderate to severe OSA. As many as 60 million Americans could be living with undiagnosed OSA and not even know it.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms:
- Pauses in breathing typically last 10 seconds
- Severe cases may last up to 30 seconds
- Loud snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea
- Pauses can recur throughout the sleep cycle
- May result in frequent awakenings and sleep fragmentation
- Restless Sleep
- Dry Mouth
- Gasping for Air
- Sore Throat
- Night Sweats
Prevalence of Apnea:
- 40% ADHD
- 73% Alzheimer’s
- 45% Depression
- 63% Stroke
- 72% Diabetes
- 76% Heart Failure
- 83% Resistant Hypertension
- 57% CAD
- 49% AFib
- 24% Acid Reflux
- 77% Obesity
OSA Symptoms and Treatment
Symptoms of sleep apnea are difficult to identify without a witness, such as a sleep partner. However, sufferers may experience choking, gasping for breath and acid reflux problems. If a partner or spouse alerts you to the fact that you regularly stop breathing in your sleep, it is time to seek help.
The recommended treatment for patients that are CPAP intolerant or have mild to moderate sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy. By keeping the airways open, oxygen levels are maintained and pauses in breathing are significantly reduced or eliminated. Dr. Suway is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM). As such, he has the training, skills and experience in the treatment of sleep disorders.
At the Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment Center, we take great pride in providing our patients with robust solutions. Where conservative treatment options for sleep apnea relief are potentially viable, Dr. Suway and his team will pursue those avenues of investigation first.
For more information on obstructive sleep apnea solutions, contact the office of the Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment Center today.