Snoring is normally an occurrence that affects your bed partner more than yourself and is normally nothing to worry about. However, it can sometimes be the sign of a condition called sleep apnea, which, if left untreated, can turn into a severe and complicated illness. Learning the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can help you and Dr. Pankaj Gupta diagnose and treat sleep apnea early. Find out more about sleep apnea and its treatments with Dr. Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC.
What is sleep apnea?
By definition, an apnea is a temporary stop in breathing. Sleep apnea occurs when someone experiences pauses in their breathing while asleep, resulting in shortness of breath, gasping, and other symptoms. Sleep apnea most commonly occurs due to an obstruction of the airway in a condition known as obtrusive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea may also occur due to mixed or failed signals between the brain and lungs which results in apneas, classified as central sleep apnea (CSA). Someone may have both types of sleep apnea, a condition known as complex sleep apnea.
Do I have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea often goes unnoticed as its symptoms occur while the sufferer is asleep. Those who share a bed with a person with sleep apnea often notice their symptoms first. Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- pauses in breathing (apneas) during sleep
- daytime fatigue and sleepiness
- morning headaches
- morning dry mouth
- excessive snoring
- waking abruptly
- waking and gasping for breath
Treating Sleep Apnea in Cary, NC
Treating sleep apnea begins with consulting with your ear, nose, and throat specialist to determine your best treatment options. Your doctor may begin with suggesting lifestyle changes like losing weight or changing your sleeping position. Many patients benefit from a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine. The machine blows a steady stream of air through the airway to keep it from collapsing, allowing the patient to sleep soundly through the night. In persistent or severe cases, surgery may be needed.
For more information on sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists & Wake Sinus Center in Cary, NC. Call (919) 851-5636 to schedule your appointment for a consultation today!