Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common but serious sleep disorder affecting millions worldwide. It is characterized by the temporary cessation of breathing during sleep, often caused by the collapse of soft tissues in the throat. If left untreated, it can lead to various health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
If you’re living in Houston and suspect you have OSA, it’s essential to seek the help of an experienced obstructive sleep apnea doctor in Houston. A specialist in sleep medicine can help diagnose the condition and recommend appropriate treatment options based on your specific needs.
Here’s everything you need to know about obstructive sleep apnea, its symptoms, causes, and available treatments:
Symptoms of OSA: The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Loud and persistent snoring
- Pauses in breathing during sleep
- Gasping, choking, or snorting sounds during sleep
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headache
- Daytime fatigue and sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability, mood swings, and depression
Causes of OSA: Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage or narrowing of the airway, usually due to relaxed throat muscles during sleep. Several factors can contribute to this, including:
- Obesity or overweight
- Narrow airway due to genetics or bone structure
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Sleeping on your back
Diagnosis of OSA: If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s essential to consult an obstructive sleep apnea doctor in Houston. They may recommend a sleep study or polysomnography to diagnose the condition. The sleep study involves spending a night in a sleep lab, where you will be monitored for breathing, oxygen levels, brain activity, and heart rate during sleep. Based on the results, the doctor can determine the severity of the condition and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Treatment of OSA: The treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea may vary depending on the severity of the condition. Here are some standard treatment options available:
- Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your lifestyle can help reduce the severity of OSA. This may include losing weight, avoiding alcohol and smoking, sleeping on your side, and treating nasal congestion.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): CPAP is the most common and effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It involves wearing a mask over your nose and mouth during sleep, which delivers pressurized air to keep your airway open.
- Oral appliances: Oral appliances are dental devices that help keep the airway open during sleep. They work by repositioning the jaw or tongue to prevent the collapse of soft tissues in the throat.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to remove or shrink excess tissues in the throat or correct structural abnormalities in the airway.
Final thought: Obstructive sleep apnea is a severe condition that can lead to health problems if left untreated. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s essential to consult an obstructive sleep apnea doctor in Houston. They can help diagnose the condition and recommend appropriate treatment options based on your needs. Obstructive sleep apnea treatment can improve your sleep quality and reduce the risk of developing other health problems associated with OSA.