Does your bed partner often complain about waking up at night to your loud and obnoxious snoring? Unfortunately, this could be a sign of a much bigger and more complex problem than a simple annoyance. Sleep apnea is a dangerous medical condition which could have grave consequences if left untreated. Learn more about sleep apnea with Dr. Rondeau & Associates in London, Ontario.
Do I have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs when someone experiences pauses in breathing during sleep, called apneas. Since symptoms occur while asleep, many sleep apnea sufferers’ bed partners notice them before they do. You may have sleep apnea if you or your bed partner notice the following symptoms while you sleep:
- pauses in breathing during sleep
- loud and excessive snoring
- shortness of breath upon waking suddenly
- gagging or gasping while sleeping
- daytime sleepiness
- morning headaches and dry mouth
What is sleep apnea, anyway?
There are two main types of sleep apnea. The first and most common type is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). An obstruction in the airway causes apneas throughout the night. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the nervous system fails to send a signal to the lungs instructing them to breathe. This type of sleep apnea is rarer than OSA. Some patients have a combination of OSA and CSA, known as complex sleep apnea. Men more commonly suffer from sleep apnea than women, as do those who are overweight. Genetics may also play a role in the development of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in London, Ontario
The leading treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure machine, often referred to as a CPAP. The machine has a mask attached to a hose which patients wear over the nose and mouth while sleeping. The machine pushes a stream of air through the airway to keep it from collapsing, preventing apneas from occurring. Some mild cases may benefit from simple treatments such as an oral appliance to reposition the jaw during sleep to prevent airway obstruction, to changing positions while sleeping or losing weight. More severe cases may require surgery. Dr. Rondeau can help you determine which treatment is appropriate for you and your condition.
For more information on sleep apnea and its treatments, please contact Dr. Rondeau & Associates in London, Ontario. Call (519) 455-4110 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Rondeau today!