A serious disorder, sleep apnea occurs when your breathing pauses throughout the night.
Left untreated, it can lead to a host of complications, including fatigue, high blood pressure, heart problems, liver issues and more. Fortunately, our specialists at the Lung & Allergy Institute of Los Angeles are able to treat among the most severe cases of sleep apnea, restoring both your ability to breathe with ease and your quality of life.
Types of sleep apnea
Central sleep apnea
This form of the condition occurs when your brain fails to properly signal the muscles that control breathing. It’s less common, but when it occurs you will wake up experiencing shortness of breath. You may also find that it’s difficult to fall and stay asleep.
Complex sleep apnea
This form of the condition develops when you suffer from both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea
The most common form of the condition, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles relax and your airway narrows or closes completely as you breathe. This lowers the level of oxygen present in your blood, causing your brain to briefly wake you to reopen your airway. When this happens, you may wake up choking or gasping for air, but because it’s so brief you won’t remember it in the morning. This cycle can repeat multiple times an hour throughout the night, impairing your sleep and causing you to feel tired during the day.
- Breathing cessation during sleep (usually discovered by a spouse or family member)
- Waking up suddenly with shortness of breath
- Experiencing dry mouth or a sore throat upon waking up
- Trouble staying asleep
- Waking up with a headache
- Difficulties during the day, including sleepiness, attention difficulties and irritability
Why do I have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can develop in individuals of all ages – infants, children and adults – though it’s more common in people with certain risk factors. Here at LAILA we provide proven methods to help treat your sleep apnea condition in Los Angeles and Orange County.
Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea
A primary risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea, if you have extra fat around your upper airway it can obstruct your breathing.
If your neck is thick, you may have a narrower airway, thus contributing to obstructive sleep apnea. In addition, some people are simply born with naturally narrow airways.
Your age and gender
Obstructive sleep apnea tends to occur most often in older adults, and it’s also more likely to occur in men than women.
If other members of your family suffer from sleep apnea, there’s an increased risk that you will, too.
Smoking and alcohol use
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol are both known to contribute to the development of obstructive sleep apnea.
Risk factors for central sleep apnea
Certain health conditions
If you’ve had a stroke or suffer congestive heart failure, you have an increased risk of developing central sleep apnea.
Narcotic pain medications are also known to contribute to the development of central sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea tends to develop as people age.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
A diagnosis of sleep apnea often involves monitoring your breathing and other body functions overnight. If the results of this monitoring are abnormal, we will be able to confirm a diagnosis of sleep apnea and prescribe the appropriate treatment regime.
How is sleep apnea treated?
To begin treatment for sleep apnea, we will first recommend lifestyle changes that may be contributing to your condition. For example, you may be advised to lose weight and quit smoking. If lifestyle modifications aren’t successful, there are a number of other treatments available for sleep apnea, including:
Also known as continuous positive airway pressure devices, a CPAP machine is a mask that you wear over your nose while you sleep. It works by providing enough pressure to keep your airway passages open, thus preventing sleep apnea from occurring.
If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea and the CPAP machine doesn’t work for you, there are a number of other oral breathing devices that can open your airways throughout the night by repositioning your tongue and jaw.
If all other treatment options are unsuccessful, we may recommend surgically enlarging the airway by removing excess tissue, repositioning your jaw and making other necessary adjustments.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, please know that relief is possible with among the best sleep apnea treatment Orange County has available with our experts. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let us help you restore normal breathing and your quality of life.Contact Us