Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition in which an individual stops breathing during their sleep. It is estimated that a person can stop breathing for periods as long as 5-20 seconds. This causes oxygen deprivation. It is a serious situation as a person can stop breathing up to 70 times in an hour.
Identifying the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
It can be easy to identify this condition, especially for those who sleep alongside the affected person. The trademarks of sleep apnea are loud snoring, coughing, and gasping for breath. While each person has a different degree of this condition, any type of sleep disturbance of this nature can be deadly. The brain registers the body’s lack of oxygen, thus, is sends a signal to start breathing again. This is often when others hear the gasping and coughing sounds. Essentially, the body is struggling for to breathe and feels a suffocating feeling. Here are the most common symptoms associated with this condition:
The C-Pap Machine
- Daytime Sleepiness
- Mental Fog
- Restless Sleep
- Spouse/Partner Unable To Sleep Near Person
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Heart Attack
- Obesity – Trouble Losing Weight
The most common way to treat sleep apnea is through the use of a c-pap machine. Unfortunately, these machines are not at all comfortable to wear. While they have come a long way from the old-fashioned designs, still the person must have straps around their head to keep the nasal cannula in place. The machine keeps the airways open and allows air to flow throughout the night. Often, when a person has sleep apnea, they sleep with their mouth open. This machine keeps the mouth closed and nostrils open. With obstructive sleep apnea, the roof of the mouth has muscles that collapse into the airway. This machine keeps fresh air flowing to ensure the patient doesn’t stop breathing. If a person lacks oxygen during the night, an oxygen cannula can be added to the machine for extra protection.
These little plastic pieces are a drug-free way to improve breathing. They don’t require any machines, and they are easier to become accustomed to. They are not as expensive as the c-pap machine, but they are not as effective either. The key is that when the nostrils are spread to a certain size, people can breathe fine. These little pieces ensure that the nose is getting air. While they are good for mild cases, they won’t work in severe cases. However, a combination of a mouthpiece and nasal dilator can be effective, but they will not work for everyone.
One of the ways to get rid of sleep apnea is by having surgery. It is estimated that over 18 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. In some severe cases, this person can stop breathing up to 70 times an hour. The lack of oxygen causes damage to the heart and can eventually lead to heart attacks. Additionally, the quality of sleep is disturbed, and it increases the risk for diabetes. For those who have complex cases, the maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) surgery is effective. This type of surgery moves the upper and lower jaw’s alignment. They are moved forward to allow more air to flow freely. All mechanical obstructions are removed. Another option is the uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty, and the laser assisted uvulo-palato-plasty. Within 4-6 weeks of these procedures, patients notice the following:
- Uninterrupted Sleep Cycles
- Less Snoring
- No More Daytime Grogginess
- Mental Clarity Improves
- Depression and Anxiety Clears
- The Risk of Heart Disease Decreased
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine supports all of these procedures as they are 99 percent effective. There is no need for a C-pap machine after treatment. Another bonus to this surgery is the reduction of the body weight index. Patients who struggle with weight issue find that with sleep apnea under control, they are finally able to lose weight.
Getting Help for Sleep Apnea
If you are exhausted all the time, it may be your sleep apnea. Dr. Jamali wants to help those suffering from this life threatening condition. Due to the nature of obstructive sleep apnea, it is something that cannot be put off another day. Many procedures can be done in the office only using light IV sedation. Most insurance plans will cover sleep apnea treatments. If you or your loved ones are suffering from symptoms of sleep apnea, call today to make an appointment. With more than 1,200 surgeries completed, Dr. Jamali can help you. Call 212-480-2777 to get the help you need.