Sleep apnea is clinically classified as a sleep disorder with potentially deadly effects. When sleep apnea occurs during a person’s sleep, their breathing stops and starts without warning. It might happen a few times, or it might happen repeatedly throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea is among the most common forms, and it’s the one in which a person’s throat muscles relax to the point they don’t allow air in or out. It sounds dangerous, and it is. For most people, sleep apnea is a minor problem. For others, it’s a deadly condition they don’t recognize until it’s too late.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
As mentioned above, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in a person’s throat relax to the point they don’t allow air in or out. This causes narrowing to occur in the airway. The result of not being able to inhale enough air occurs in the blood. Oxygen is needed to provide your blood the energy to flow. Without it, a person risks serious health complications. The good news is most people wake briefly during episodes of sleep apnea. Waking up quickly allows the body to correct the issue at hand. Air is inhaled, the airway is opened, and oxygen levels in the blood go back to normal. Most people who suffer from sleep apnea have no idea this even occurs. They don’t remember their bouts of breathlessness or wakefulness, and they go right back to sleep.
How Often Does Sleep Apnea Occur?
People who suffer from this form of obstructive sleep apnea usually wake as many as 30 times per hour throughout the night. They simply don’t know this is happening in their lives. This mistakenly assume they slept well throughout the night, but their sleep was substantially disrupted. Disrupted sleep of this nature makes it impossible for the body to reach the level of sleep required to achieve actual rest. The negative results of lack of sleep manifest themselves in other areas of life, such as a person’s ability to concentrate and think clearly. Most people with sleep apnea feel regular fatigue.
Who is at Risk for Developing Sleep Apnea?
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep apnea more commonly affects men. That doesn’t mean women and children are immune to this issue, however. There are some people who are more likely to develop sleep apnea than others. Those people tend to suffer from the same conditions, which include:
- People who are overweight
- People who are older
- People with small airways
- People with allergies
- People with enlarged tonsils (Primarily children)
- People with high blood pressure
- People who smoke
- People who have diabetes
Not falling into any of these categories is not a guarantee a person won’t develop sleep apnea or already have it. It merely means these people are more likely to develop the issue than anyone else. Anyone with a family history of the health issue is also at greater risk for developing these sleep issues.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Sleep apnea is treatable, which is the good news. Doctors prefer to use a variety of methods to help treat this sleep disorder, and that might include any of the following:
- Oral Appliances
- Lifestyle Changes
Typically, your doctor recommends you begin with lifestyle changes and go from there. Breathing assistance machines such as the CPAP are helpful, but they’re not ideal for many people living with sleep apnea. The machines require wires and tubes hooked to the body throughout the night, and most people don’t want to live like that for the rest of their lives. Even if the result is better sleep, the ability to breathe, the lowered risk of depression, and then some, sleeping every night hooked to a machine simply isn’t ideal.
Surgery is an option not to dismiss so easily. Orthognathic surgery is a form of plastic surgery used to change the shape of the jaw and bones to eliminate sleep apnea as a problem. Jaw surgery is an option for many people, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Correcting a problem that has such a profound effect on your overall quality of life is a serious matter.
Corrective jaw surgery allows the surgeon to move your bottom and lower jaw into new positions to enlarge your airway. This prevents your airway from constricting to the point of deterring your ability to breathe at night. The result is better sleep, which translates into other positive effects relating to your overall health. When you sleep better at night, you feel better during the day. Feeling rested allows you to think more clearly, make better decisions, concentrate, and it lowers your risk of developing anxiety and depression.
More and more people are turning to plastic surgery for reasons far beyond aesthetic appeal, and it’s a good thing. Modern medicine makes it possible for you to improve your entire life with one call to the doctor. That one call can change everything from your level of confidence to your entire outlook on life, and that’s what makes it so beneficial.
Call Now to Discuss Your Orthognathic Surgery
Dr. Jamali spent nearly a decade working as a dentist before making the decision to become a surgeon specializing in oral and maxillofacial surgery. His work is recognized across the country as impressive. Contact Dr. Jamali to learn more about your specific form of sleep apnea and the medical advances available to cure your issues. Call 212-480-2777 to schedule a consultation. You can also visit the doctor’s website www.omsofny.com and visit the “Contact Us” page to send a message to the doctor. The office will get back to you with the information you require, including possible appointment times. You don’t have to live with sleep apnea forever, and Dr. Jamali will tell you how.