So, exactly what is sleep apnea? Dr. James Cannon is here to help you make sense of this complex diagnosis and how it can be treated.
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes patients to stop breathing for ten or more seconds at a time during sleep. Although they typically don’t last more than a handful of seconds, these interruptions can occur up to hundreds of times each night, resulting in ineffective sleep.
Some patients may even experience a combination two types of sleep apnea: central sleep apea (CSA) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
CSA happens when a patient’s brain simply fails to send the proper signal to the body to inhale and exhale.
OSA occurs more commonly when a patient’s airway becomes partially or fully blocked.
Sleep apnea symptoms can be complex and varies for many people. An estimated 22 million Americans (or up to 80%), are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years before receiving treatment. Common symptoms indicating a cause for concern include:
People may experience one or more, or even none of the symptoms listed above. That’s what makes sleep apnea so dangerous! If you snore loudly or feel tired after sleeping, you may have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a physician with a sleep test. Nowadays, this can be done in the comfort of your own bed. Fabrication of a custom-made device, one that holds the jaw in a forward position and helps maintain an open airway while you sleep, can be done in my office.