Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. It occurs when the airway becomes blocked repeatedly while a person is asleep, reducing or cutting off airflow. People suffering from this condition are incapable of getting enough sleep and usually suffer from many side effects.
Dr. William Harper offers sleep apnea treatment to his patients from Chesapeake, VA. With his advanced training and certification, he can provide lasting relief from sleep apnea and the associated symptoms.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. OSA causes a person to repeatedly stop breathing while they are asleep. This can cause serious health complications because it cuts off oxygen to vital organs. It is typically caused by an obstruction of the upper airway during sleep resulting from the collapse of soft tissues at the back of the throat. The most common symptom is snoring although not everyone that snores has OSA. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 50% of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There are many symptoms of sleep apnea that should not be ignored including:
- Loud snoring
- When a sleeping partner reports episodes where you stop breathing
- Gasping for air while asleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Frequent headaches upon waking up
- Issues staying asleep, may feel like insomnia
- Being tried during the day
- Issues with paying attention during the day
- Being irritable while awake
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
No one should assume they suffer from sleep apnea. Diagnosing the condition is an integral part to getting the correct treatment. Diagnosing sleep apnea will require your participation in sleep testing. Dr. Harper will work with your general practitioner to set this up. This will help get the accurate diagnosis needed to begin treatment.
There are two ways sleep testing can be conducted. The at-home test will involve wearing a kit while you sleep at home. We will give you specific instructions on how to set it up. It will determine if you have a sleep disorder by measuring heart rate, breathing rate, blood oxygen level and more. In-lab sleep testing is done at a sleep laboratory and monitored by medical professionals. They will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of a range of physical metrics. In addition to the sleep study, your physician may take x-rays of your airway and do a physical examination to look for signs of a blockage.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
An oral sleep device is similar to a sports mouthguard. The device will be carefully fabricated to the specifications of your mouth. The device is designed to readjust your bite to keep your tongue from rolling to the back of your mouth during sleep. The device will keep your airway open, allowing you to breathe normally during sleep. Coastal Virginia Sleep Solutions offers many types of oral sleep devices to patients from Chesapeake, VA and is always evaluating new designs.
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact Coastal Virginia Sleep Solutions to get setup with a sleep study. Dr. Harper will help with every step of the diagnosing process and get you fitted for the right oral device.