Sleep apnea is a prevalent sleep disorder that results in irregular breathing while you’re asleep. It can disrupt your sleep, causing you to move out of deep and restful sleep and into light sleep, making you feel tired the next day. But it’s more than just a snoring issue or a cause of daytime drowsiness; it’s a serious condition that interrupts the restful sleep needed for the body’s vital functions and can significantly affect your quality of life.

Whether you’re just beginning to suspect a problem, or you’ve lived with sleep apnea for years, we’re here to help. Our experienced team can guide you on the path to better sleep and improved health. The first step is understanding what sleep apnea is, and from there, we can help you navigate the diagnosis process and explore treatment options. Our team of sleep specialists at the Sleep Apnea Centers of California serve the greater Los Angeles area, and offer sleep apnea testing, diagnosis, and treatments. While we specialize in oral device therapy, our specialists are committed to creating a customized treatment plan for you.

Find Out if You May Have Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Definition

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where an individual’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. These pauses, known as apneas, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 30 or more times in an hour. It’s often characterized by loud snoring, restless sleep, and feelings of exhaustion upon waking, despite having a full night’s sleep. It’s important to note that not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

When left untreated, sleep apnea isn’t just a nuisance; it’s a serious condition that can lead to numerous detrimental health consequences. If you consistently experience disrupted sleep due to sleep apnea, your overall health can be severely impacted. The repercussions can include:

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Abrupt drops in blood oxygen levels during sleep apnea episodes can strain the cardiovascular system and significantly increase the risk of heart disease.

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Sleep apnea can contribute to high blood pressure, as the body’s stress response is activated due to frequent awakenings during the night.

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Sudden awakenings often associated with sleep apnea can disturb your normal sleep cycle, leading to feelings of fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and difficulty focusing.

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Liver problems, such as scarring and abnormal liver function tests, are more common in people with sleep apnea.

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The interrupted sleep and decreased oxygen levels can lead to type 2 diabetes by affecting your body’s insulin resistance.

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Regular episodes of low oxygen levels can also increase the risk of stroke.

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Sleep deprivation can cause mood changes like depression, irritability, and even lead to an increased risk of accidents.

Remember, these are potential risks. A proper diagnosis and effective treatment plan can significantly reduce these risks. By treating sleep apnea at the root cause, your quality of sleep can go up, while these risks can go down. Contact us today and we’ll help you take the first step towards improved sleep and better overall health.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is not as simple as just one type of condition. There are several types of sleep apnea that can affect your health. Understanding the type of sleep apnea you have is crucial as it guides the approach to treatment. There are three main types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):

This is the most common form, and it occurs when the muscles in your throat relax while you sleep, narrowing or closing your airway as you breathe in. You can’t get enough air, which lowers the oxygen level in your blood. Your brain senses this inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. Most people with OSA snore loudly and gasp for air during their sleep.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA):

Unlike OSA, the airway isn’t blocked in this type. Instead, your brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center. You may awaken with shortness of breath or have a difficult time getting to sleep or staying asleep.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome:

Also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea, this condition occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. It’s usually discovered when a person with apparent OSA doesn’t respond to OSA treatments.

Each type has unique features and treatments, but all disrupt sleep, reduce oxygen in the blood, and can lead to other health problems if not addressed. A proper diagnosis is the first step to understanding your specific condition and finding the right treatment plan for you.

Sleep Apnea Treatments

 

When it comes to tackling sleep apnea, there’s an array of treatments available. The treatment plan is tailored based on the severity of the condition and the type of sleep apnea diagnosed. Some of the commonly used treatment methods include:

Lifestyle Changes:

This often involves modifications like losing weight, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills, and changing sleep positions to enhance breathing.

Surgery:

In some cases, when other treatments are not effective, surgery may be an option. Several types of procedures can enlarge the airway, thus reducing episodes of sleep apnea.

Oral Appliances:

These devices keep the throat open by bringing your jaw forward, which can sometimes relieve snoring and sleep apnea. These custom-fit devices, similar in appearance to sports mouthguards, are designed to maintain an open, unobstructed airway while you sleep. They function by bringing your lower jaw forward or by restraining the tongue, reducing the risk of airway collapse. The convenience and effectiveness of oral appliances have made them a popular choice for many patients. They are particularly useful for those who struggle with more traditional methods like CPAP, or who have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Their small size makes them ideal for travel, silent, and easy to wear.

Remember that each treatment choice has its pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your unique symptoms, the severity of your sleep apnea, and your personal preferences. Always consult with a sleep specialist or your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your situation.

What are the different types of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea primarily manifests in three distinct types. The first, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), is the most common and is characterized by the relaxation of throat muscles during sleep which can narrow or completely close off the airway. The second type, Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), is less common and involves the brain failing to transmit proper signals to the muscles controlling breathing. The third form, Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome, also known as Treatment-Emergent Central Sleep Apnea, is a combination of both OSA and CSA. It’s important to properly diagnose the type of sleep apnea to ensure effective treatment, such as an oral device.

What is considered sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. It’s typically characterized by repeated episodes of pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping. This disruption can happen hundreds of times a night, often for a minute or longer. These breathing pauses are usually accompanied by snoring, choking or gasping for breath, leading to poor quality of sleep and resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness. Individuals with untreated sleep apnea are often unaware of these disturbances and may feel unrefreshed upon waking up, not realizing their sleep was fragmented. This condition requires medical diagnosis as it can lead to serious health complications if left untreated.

Contact Us Today for Sleep Apnea Treatment

Do you have sleep apnea? Or are you unsure? We at Sleep Apnea Centers of California can help you learn if you have sleep apnea, diagnose your condition, and determine what treatment options may be appropriate for your individual circumstance.

Don’t let another restless night affect your daily life. Reach out to us today for sleep apnea treatment options. Our dedicated team of sleep specialists in Los Angeles is ready to help you understand your symptoms, offer at-home sleep testing for a comprehensive diagnosis, and guide you through various treatment options. Our primary aim is to help you achieve better sleep and improved overall health. Whether it’s oral appliances or personalized treatment plans, we are committed to finding the right solution for you. Don’t delay, your path to a peaceful night’s sleep is just a call or email away.