Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder where an individual repeatedly stops breathing for brief periods of time while sleeping. Typically, air flows constantly from the mouth and nose to the lungs at all times; periods where this comes to a halt is called apnea. With obstructive sleep apnea, the air flow is frequently stopped because the airway space in the throat is very narrow. If not diagnosed and left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a number of health risks, including:
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The most common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea is chronic and loud snoring. The obstructed airway causes snoring followed by gasping or choking. However, not all individuals with obstructive sleep apnea snore. Individuals may also experience:
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth when waking up
- High blood pressure
- Night sweats
- Chronic fatigue
- Frequent nighttime urination
Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea
CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure, is a common treatment for both obstructive and central sleep apnea. These machines provide a continuous flow of oxygen during sleep, helping to prevent breath cessation. Oxygen may be delivered through tubing in the nose or a mask worn while sleeping. CPAP is effective, but many people find it uncomfortable.
Dr. Zeng offers a comfortable oral appliance to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Worn while you sleep, these devices maintain an open airway by angling the lower jaw and gently moving the tongue forward so that they do not obstruct the airway. Treating OSA with an oral appliance can also help keep soft tissue in the palate and throat from collapsing to further prevent breathing obstruction.
If you have been diagnosed with OSA and are looking for an option that does not involve machines, tubing, and masks, Dr. Zeng may be able to help. Give us a call today to schedule your consultation and learn more.