Understanding Sleep Apnea: Symptoms and Treatments

Understanding Sleep Apnea: Symptoms and Treatments
source: medicalnewstoday.com

Sleep apnea is a condition in which someone’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. It arises from airway blockage, or the brain does not send signals to the muscles that control breathing. Either way, this airflow blockage creates loud snoring and often disrupts sleep for people with sleep apnea and their bed partners. Arizona has some sleep apnea specialists ready to put you in the proper sleep apnea treatment. Think of targeting the perfect center for sleep apnea in Surprise, AZ.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

There are many different types of sleep apnea, but the two most common are Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused when your throat muscles collapse toward the airway during sleep. This results in snoring pauses in breathing while you’re asleep, and often a feeling of not being well-rested in the morning.

Central Sleep Apnea emerges when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing. It can be due to stroke, heart failure, or medications that impact the central nervous system. People with central sleep apnea usually do not snore and may not experience the same level of daytime sleepiness as those with obstructive sleep apnea.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

There are many different treatments available for sleep apnea. Here are some common ones:

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

This method involves using a CPAP machine which you wear at night. The device contains a mask that fits your nose or mouth to deliver airflow. This air pressure is delivered through the nasal passage and prevents the throat from collapsing so you can breathe well while sleeping. It’s an effective treatment option for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.

Tongue Retaining Devices

This type of mouth appliance holds the tongue in place so it does not fall back towards the throat during your slumber. It is one of the less invasive devices used to treat sleep apnea and can be worn comfortably throughout the night.

Oral Appliances

Like the tongue retaining device, the oral appliance is worn inside your mouth at night and is connected to a strap that attaches around your head. This helps hold the jaw and lower tongue in place, preventing airway obstruction.


If the above treatments do not resolve your sleep apnea, it may be time to consider surgery. There are two main types of surgery that can treat OSA: corrective and reconstructive. Corrective surgery will change the size or shape of your jaw, upper airway, or throat to improve breathing during sleep. Reconstructive surgery repairs damage that has been caused to the airway from other medical conditions or treatments.

Lifestyle Changes to Consider?

You can make many lifestyle changes to help improve your sleep if you suffer from sleep apnea. These changes include:

  • Quitting smoking. Cigarette smoke irritates the airways and can worsen sleep apnea.
  • Losing weight. If you are overweight, losing even a few pounds may help relieve some of the strain on your airways.
  • Avoiding alcohol and sedative medications. These can relax the muscles in the throat, increasing snoring, and worsening apnea.

If you are snoring, feeling tired during the day, or having trouble breathing when laying down, you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which someone’s breathing is interrupted during sleep, and can be caused by an obstructed airway due to signals from the brain not telling your muscles how to breathe. Seeing a doctor for diagnosis then treatment is crucial.