Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders diagnosed in adults in the United States. This potentially dangerous condition can increase your chance of developing serious interrelated health problems, so finding a doctor who can provide you with an effective treatment plan is essential. At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, our sleep apnea doctors have helped countless patients improve their sleep apnea symptoms, so they can live a healthier and happier life.
What kind of doctor specializes in sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea specialists often come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some common medical designations for doctors who treat sleep apnea include internists, pulmonologists, and otolaryngologists. Some psychiatrists and neurologists also provide treatment for sleep apnea symptoms, depending on the total scope of a patient’s condition. Dental professionals may also specialize in treating sleep apnea and other sleep disordered breathing. At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, not only do we provide our patients with exceptional sleep apnea doctors, but our sleep centers are designed to combine the care of medical professionals with that of dental experts, so you receive comprehensive treatment for your sleep apnea. We are proud to streamline our patients’ healthcare process when they are seeking comprehensive treatment for their sleep apnea symptoms.
Are there different types of sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most commonly diagnosed type of sleep apnea. OSA occurs when the upper airway becomes totally or partially blocked during sleep. When the soft tissue of your airway collapses on itself, it forces your body to work much harder in order for you to take in necessary oxygen. If you have Central sleep apnea (sometimes called CSA), your brain function can cause the breathing interruptions indicative of sleep apnea. The primary difference between OSA and CSA is that OSA is a physical issue that causes a patient to be unable to breathe. In CSA, a patient still has the physical ability to breathe, but their brain does not appropriately signal their muscles to do so. In nearly all cases, CSA is co-occurring with another severe illness or injury that has negatively affected a person’s brain function. In rare instances, a person may suffer from mixed apnea, where both OSA and CSA symptoms are present.
Who is at the highest risk of developing OSA?
While anyone may develop sleep apnea symptoms, certain people will be at a greater risk. Men are more likely to suffer from OSA than women, and overweight individuals are especially at risk. People who snore, consume alcohol, and smoke can also be at a higher risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea, so making specific and targeted lifestyle adjustments can effectively reduce their risk. Your risk of being diagnosed with OSA is also greater if other members of your family have previously received the diagnosis. However, it is important to remember that even if you do not have any of these risk factors, it is still possible that you will develop OSA. Often, a bed partner or roommate will be the first person who might notice your OSA because it is often the loud snoring caused by breathing stoppages that is the most obvious sign. At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we offer our patients the best sleep apnea treatments and can provide effective and non-invasive alternatives to cumbersome continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, which can improve patients’ comfort and convenience while still treating the cause of their OSA symptoms.
If you or someone you love is struggling with sleep apnea symptoms, Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders can help. We proudly offer our patients access to exceptional sleep apnea doctors who can provide you with compassionate care and support you need to improve your sleep and your health. With multiple locations across the United States, we have a sleep apnea doctor near you. Call us today to schedule your sleep apnea consultation.