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Sleep Apnea – Your Questions Answered

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Sleep Apnea - Your Questions Answered

Sleep Apnea – Your Questions Answered

Discovering you have sleep apnea can be full of so many unknowns, especially with how to treat this deadly disease. Having a condition that occurs while you are sleeping and are unaware of your body’s breathing patterns can be scary, and can leave you uncertain of which treatment route to take. How sleep apnea affects your body, what risks are involved if left untreated, and types of treatment methods other than a traditional CPAP machine are all important once you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea. We rounded up 10 of the most common questions related to sleep apnea to help you along your journey to safe, comfortable sleep and improve quality of life.

Why Does Sleep Apnea Cause Weight Gain?

To understand why sleep apnea causes weight gain, it is important to first understand how sleep apnea interrupts your sleep cycle. Sleep apnea, at its core, is a condition in which your body stops and starts breathing throughout the night. There can be many reasons for this, including genetics, weight, and many more.

As your body works to restart the breathing after it has stopped, it can wake you up and disrupt your deep sleep patterns. This can leave you feeling tired throughout the day, which is a hallmark symptom of sleep apnea. In addition, the period of time in which your body has stopped breathing causes a lack of oxygen to the brain and bloodstream which can lead to more health issues.

In addition, your body requires sleep in order to recharge. The less oxygen you are receiving means you are less able to burn calories during the day. If your body is not able to fully rest and recharge, losing weight is extremely difficult.

Since you are feeling so tired throughout the day, you might be more inclined to reach for sugary drinks or foods to help keep your energy levels up. In addition, exercise is often put on the backburner due to a lack of energy. Combining extra calories to stay alert with a lack of exercise puts many sleep apnea sufferers on the fast track to weight gain.

How To Treat Sleep Apnea Without CPAP?

CPAP machines are the most common methods used to treat sleep apnea. CPAP machines create more pressure in your throat so that the airways do not become blocked, which leads to snoring and sleep apnea. While they are effective in treating sleep apnea, they can quickly become cumbersome. They are often loud, tedious to clean and take care of, are difficult to travel with, and can sometimes be uncomfortable. As such, this can lead people to wonder about other ways they can treat their sleep apnea without having to use a CPAP machine.

In addition to CPAP machines, sleep apnea can be treated with the following alternatives:

Are Snoring And High Blood Pressure Related?

It can be hard to believe that the simple act of snoring can affect your blood pressure so much — but it does. According to a Harvard University study, nighttime interruptions in breathing, or “apneas,” starve the brain of oxygen and stress out the cardiovascular system. Inadequately treated OSA comes with a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.

In addition, daytime sleep apnea-related drowsiness can cause people to become more easily stressed, fatigued, and prone to accidents which can cause more consistent high blood pressure than in individuals who do not have sleep apnea.

High blood pressure causes cardiovascular issues that can be dangerous to the body in many ways. It can cause damage to the heart, lungs, brain, kidney, and eyes that can sometimes be irreversible.

More risks for untreated high blood pressure include:

What Are The Side Effects Of Sleep Apnea?

Suffering from a condition that occurs while you are asleep and unaware can be put lower on the priority list of things to address. If you’re not aware it is happening, then what is the harm? In fact, there are many harms and side effects that you may not even be aware of are directly related to your sleep apnea. These include:

Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured Naturally?

It is natural to wonder if a condition you are suffering from can be cured naturally and without the need for doctors, expensive machines, surgery, and fittings for oral devices. While there is no single cookie-cutter cure for sleep apnea other than surgery, there are natural remedies that can help and, in some cases, possibly cure sleep apnea.

How Do I Find Out If I Have Sleep Apnea?

Obviously, one of the most difficult parts about sleep apnea is that the person suffering from it isn’t even aware that they have it. Off-the-cuff remarks from your partner about your snoring, fatigue you can write off to stress from your job, or a sore throat you have been blaming on allergies can be easily confused. Snoring can often be written off as a nagging complaint from your loved one, however, if the complaints are frequent, it is important you pay attention as it is the first and hallmark sign of sleep apnea.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

What Happens If Sleep Apnea Is Not Treated?

You may be annoying your partner with loud snoring and feeling a bit tired in the morning, but is that enough to want to take sleep apnea seriously enough for treatment? This is a common thought that people have, which makes it important to understand what can happen if you leave sleep apnea untreated.

The lack of oxygen that occurs with sleep apnea causes a host of problems other than fatigue and snoring. It can cause long-term memory and cognition issues, increased risk of stroke and heart attack, cardiovascular issues, weight gain which can lead to obesity-related issues, dementia, brain damage, bladder issues, mood issues, cognitive dysfunction, and worst of all — sudden cardiac death.

Do Nose Plug Vents Work For Sleep Apnea?

Nose vents are a gadget to help snoring by opening the airways. They are inserted into the nostrils to dilate them, manually opening the nostril airways to allow for better airflow. While nose plug vents can help decrease snoring in many people, it doesn’t always help eliminate sleep apnea completely.

To understand why nose plug vents don’t always work for sleep apnea, it is important to understand the three types of sleep apnea.

If you suffer from Central Sleep Apnea or Mixed Sleep Apnea, a nose plug vent wouldn’t do much to help your condition except to cut down on only one of your symptoms – snoring. Even if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, it may be caused by genetics, such as large tonsils or extra tissue, that cannot be helped with a device such as nose plug vents.

What Are Permanent Treatments For Sleep Apnea?

The thought of needing a CPAP machine for the rest of your life can be a cumbersome one, which can easily lead people to wonder what permanent treatments are available for sleep apnea. Oral surgery for sleep apnea can greatly reduce sleep apnea events during the night, which allows patients to get rid of their CPAP machines and have a great night’s sleep.

Our clinic specializes in permanent treatments for sleep apnea. After the patient has received a sleep apnea diagnosis, Dr. Martin Gorman will talk with them about their symptoms, review their medical history, and may perform a 3D scan utilizing state-of-the-art dental technology to evaluate possible obstructions. Once he is familiar with the details of their condition, Dr. Gorman will create a personalized treatment plan with the goal of improving their nighttime breathing.

If you are ready to make a permanent change to your sleep apnea and feel better with more energy, we’re here to help you. With 44 years of experience, we are committed to providing you with the kind of service we would want for ourselves and our families.

Find out more about Dr. Gorman and the Gorman Heath and Wellness Center by visiting www.mgormandental.com