Sleep apnea is one of the most common but scary sleep disorders throughout the world. In the U.S., sleep apnea affects about twenty million adults, with a significant percentage of undiagnosed cases. The condition affects your breathing as you sleep, and while multiple factors might cause it, it is often related to conditions that affect your throat, nose, and ears. Matthew W. Shawl, MD, is a board-certified otolaryngologist specializing in the management of sleep apnea in Union Square, NY, and determines if your breathing problems are because of the underlying nose, ear, or throat issues. For more consultation, call or book an appointment online today.
What Exactly Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea refers to a sleep disorder that makes your breathing very shallow or stops several times in the night when sleeping. These breathing pauses can occur in seconds or a few minutes. This condition can be scary for both you and your sleeping partner. The major types of sleep apnea include:
· Obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is the main sleep apnea type, accounting for more than eighty percent of all cases. It happens when your throat muscles relax, obstructing your airway.
· Central sleep apnea
This type occurs when there is no proper communication between your brain and the muscles controlling your breathing.
You can also suffer from complex sleep apnea syndrome, which features a mix of central and obstructive sleep apnea.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
The common sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Snoring loudly.
- Waking up with a dry mouth or headache.
- Gasping for breath when sleeping.
- And difficulty staying awake during the daytime.
This condition can be dangerous, and you should make an immediate appointment with a medical professional if you experience any of these symptoms.
What Nose, Throat, and Ear Conditions Affect Sleep Apnea?
Several underlying noses, ear, and throat conditions may contribute to your nightly breathing problems. These include:
· Deviated nasal septum
· Allergic rhinitis
· Narrow throat
· Enlarged adenoids or tonsils
Dr. Shawl provides treatment for any of these conditions with surgery or medication to relieve your sleep apnea symptoms.
What Should You Expect During Your Sleep Apnea Evaluation?
When you go to the physician with symptoms related to sleep apnea, the doctor starts by conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the health of your nose, ear, and throat. This is to find out if they might be contributing to your sleep apnea and breathing difficulties. Based on the evaluation results, the provider will develop an individualized plan to relieve the symptoms and support other sleep apnea treatments.
To sum up, you don’t have to live with any of these overwhelming symptoms or sleep apnea conditions while there is an existing effective treatment and management. Untreated sleep apnea can cause many medical pathologies and keep you at higher risks of other health issues. If you have experienced any sleep apnea symptoms, you should visit a health specialist for diagnosis and treatment. Call or schedule an appointment online with Matthew W. Shawl, MD, for the best treatment!