The Longview Patient’s Guide
Alternatives to CPAP
Sleep apnea is a serious medical disorder that prevents you from getting enough oxygen while you’re sleeping at night. This is extremely disruptive to your health, making you more likely to suffer from potentially devastating consequences such as a stroke or heart attack.
The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the soft tissue relaxes and falls back into your throat while you sleep, blocking the airway and preventing you from breathing. This can harm your health in a number of ways.
A CPAP machine is often the first OSA treatment that doctors recommend. CPAP is effective when used correctly, but many patients feel restricted by their CPAP machine because it forces them to sleep on their back all night while wearing a mask over their face that forces warm oxygen into the airway.
A CPAP machine is loud — and many spouses complain that it’s just as annoying as their partner’s snoring. For patients who are looking for an alternative to CPAP, Dr. Hobbs features custom-made oral appliances, created just for you. It’s small, quiet, and it won’t restrict your motion while you sleep.
How Sleep Apnea Threatens Your Health
Sleep apnea can drastically drain your energy, making you feel constantly fatigued. It can even damage your memory. Leaving this condition untreated puts your health and wellbeing at risk.
Untreated sleep apnea substantially increases your chances of suffering from heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other adverse health conditions. Recognizing the symptoms of sleep apnea in a timely manner can save your life.
People Say I Snore. Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
Snoring is an issue that affects millions of Americans, whether they snore every night or just sporadically. But if your sleep partner complains about your loud, raucous snoring, then it could be a sign of a much more serious condition.
Although sleep apnea is commonly associated with snoring, not everyone who snores is suffering from sleep apnea. To find out if you have sleep apnea, Dr. Hobbs can arrange to have you take a sleep study.
A sleep study is an overnight diagnostic evaluation that measures your heart rate, brain activity, and other vital signs to diagnose sleep-related breathing disorders. Your sleep study can be conducted overnight at a sleep lab, but many of our patients choose to have a home sleep study instead.
With a home sleep study, you get a portable device that you hook up before you go to sleep. No matter which type of sleep test you choose, your results will be diagnosed by a qualified sleep physician who will then prescribe the appropriate course of treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can sleep apnea go away without treatment?
Unfortunately, sleep apnea won’t go away on its own. Sleep disorders are severe conditions that can lead to a number of secondary health problems when left untreated. Getting proactive diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea is the best way to improve your quality of life and protect your overall health. Certain lifestyle changes can also have a positive impact.
What are the different types of sleep apnea?
There are three types of sleep apnea and those are:
- Obstructive sleep apnea: This type of sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses and closes during sleep.
- Central sleep apnea: This occurs when the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe.
- Mixed sleep apnea: This sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
When is sleep apnea dangerous?
Sleep apnea always poses some danger – even if you have a mild case, it can cause serious health conditions if patients go without treatment. Treatment can help to immediately reduce your risk of health complications. Dr. Hobbs will work with you to develop a treatment plan that suits you and improves symptoms. He’ll help you improve your health and well-being.