Sleep Apnea Doctor Q&A
Are you tired of suffering from sleep apnea? Don’t suffer and talk to our sleep apnea team at Koala Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders. For more information, call us visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI.
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A sleep apnea doctor is a physician who specializes in treating sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when a person’s breathing stops for brief periods during sleep and the person awakens gasping for air. These doctors come from a variety of medical backgrounds, most commonly dentistry, as dentists have advanced knowledge of the anatomy of the mouth and jaw. This expertise allows dentists to prescribe custom-tailored treatments that can ameliorate sleep apnea and improve the quality of sleep.
Lack of sleep can cause many physical problems, including sluggishness, fatigue, and slow reflexes, but it can also result in a number of mental health issues, such as an inability to concentrate, mood swings, and feelings of anxiety or depression. However, whether anxiety can cause sleep apnea is still unknown. The most common type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, is caused by physical muscle relaxation in the throat or palate and does not seem to be caused by anxiety. In fact, there is no direct link showing that anxiety causes obstructive sleep apnea, although it may be associated with other types of sleep apnea.
There is a large amount of evidence that supports the negative health effects that sleep apnea can have on the heart and cardiovascular system. When looking at the prevalence of how often cardiovascular disease and sleep disturbance show up in the same individuals, one study found that over 50 percent of cardiovascular patients have sleep apnea, compared to less than 5 percent in the overall population. Central sleep apnea, while rare in the general population, commonly occurs in patients with heart failure, providing further evidence of the connection between this sleep disorder and heart problems.
In many cases, sleep apnea can be diagnosed based on the patient’s symptoms and the results of a physical examination. The sleep apnea doctor will ask the patient questions about the length and quality of their sleep, symptoms of drowsiness or headache during the day, and how loudly they snore at night. It may be recommended for patients to keep a sleep diary to record the time of when they went to bed and how often they awoke during the night. This will help the doctor understand the patient’s sleep pattern and provide insight into viable treatment options. People with sleep apnea may not be aware of symptoms that occur during sleep, such as stopping breathing or gasping; a partner or family member may need to report these symptoms. After discussing symptoms, the doctor will examine the patient’s mouth, throat, and neck for enlarged tissue or the structure of the palate and uvula that may be predisposed to a narrowed airway.
For mild cases of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, maybe enough to treat the issue. It may also be suggested to sleep in different positions, such as on the side rather than a supine position. In moderate to severe cases, sleep apnea doctors will likely prescribe a CPAP machine; an oral appliance may also be able to effectively ameliorate any symptoms and improve the quality of sleep.
If you or someone you love has sleep apnea, trust the team at Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders to provide you with effective relief. Call us today to book an appointment with our sleep apnea doctor; we serve patients from all across the United States and have clinics in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI. We look forward to serving you!