Sleep Apnea Treatment – Cary, NC
BETTER NIGHTS FOR BETTER DAYS
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that is characterized by the involuntary cessation of breathing that occur during asleep. Roughly 25 million Americans are diagnosed with this potentially serious disorder, while it is estimated an additional 80 percent of those with sleep apnea remain undiagnosed. Although there are various types of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea is the most prevalent, which occurs when the throat muscles frequently relax and block the airway during sleep. As a result, a patient with sleep apnea can stop breathing hundreds of times per night with each cessation lasting anywhere from a few seconds to over a minute. To prevent the potentially dangerous complications of this sleep disorder, treatment for sleep apnea in Cary is vital.
RISK FACTORS FOR SLEEP APNEA
Individuals most at risk for OSA include:
- Adults who are obese, overweight or have a BMI (body mass index) of 25 or higher
- Individuals with a large neck circumference of more than 17 inches for men and 16 inches for women
- Males over the age of 40, females over the age of 50, or anyone over the age of 60
- Men are twice as likely as women to develop sleep apnea
- Premenopausal and menopausal women
- Those with high blood pressure
- Individuals who are genetically predisposed to certain lifestyle factors or anatomical traits
SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP APNEA
If you regularly experience any of the following symptoms, it is possible that you are suffering from OSA. It would be wise to seek professional diagnosis and treatment as soon as you reasonably can.
- Chronic, excessive snoring
- Gasping or choking sounds while sleeping
- Morning headaches
- Memory loss
- Irritability, mood swings, or difficulty with mental functions
- Increased risk for drowsy driving and workplace accidents due to sleep deprivation
RISK FOR POTENTIAL SERIOUS HEALTH COMPLICATIONS FOR OSA
While many people believe that OSA is a mere inconvenience or annoyance, it can lead to serious health complications! In fact, left untreated, it drastically increases an individual’s risk of suffering from a number of problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Acid Reflex (GERD)
- Adult asthma
- Liver problems
- Weight gain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Premature death
DIAGNOSIS OF OSA
For those who suspect sleep apnea in Cary, a home sleep study test is provided as a screening tool. However, an overnight study at a designated sleep center is necessary to properly interpret the data to establish an appropriate diagnosis.
TREATMENT OF SLEEP APNEA IN CARY
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy: The use of a CPAP machine is the most common form of treatment for sleep apnea. Use of the machine involves wearing a facial or nasal mask while sleeping. The mask is attached to a pump to deliver a steady stream of air directly to the nasal passages to keep the airways open.
- Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT): OAT involves the use of a custom-made device that is similar to a mouthguard. The oral appliance is worn during sleep to reposition the lower jaw. With the lower jaw moved forward, the airway remains open and unobstructed.
- Surgical Interventions: Those who have certain abnormalities to the nose, upper throat, or lower tongue may benefit from surgical intervention to keep the airway open.
TREATMENT EFFICACY OF OSA
- The most proven effective treatments for sleep apnea involve the use of CPAP therapy and OAT. However, CPAP has been shown to be more predictable in the treatment of severe apnea. Nonetheless, OAT can be equally as effective but the results are not always as predictable.
- 70 percent of patients prefer OAT when compared to CPAP, which only has a 50 percent compliance rate.
- The benefits of a sleep appliance in Cary are due to the fact the devices are quiet, predictable, offer easy care, and provide enhanced comfort when compared to CPAP therapy.
- If your physician determines that OAT would be the most beneficial sleep apnea treatment for you, a prescription will be provided. This allows Dr. Darren Koch to begin creating the custom-made sleep device. In order for medical insurance to cover the device, you will require the proper documentation from your physician and dentist.
If you need more information about obstructive sleep apnea or how to schedule a sleep test, please call our office at (919) 446-5992 to learn more.