Sleep Apnea Treatment – Scottsdale, AZ

Understanding Sleep Apnea and
What to Do About It

Man in bed pinching bridge of nose needing sleep apnea treatment in Scottsdale

A person who has sleep apnea will often stop breathing for 10 seconds or more multiple times during a single night. Each pause forces the body to wake up and interrupt the sleep cycle, preventing you from receiving the restorative benefits of the deeper sleep stages. Additionally, the interruptions in breathing can have serious consequences for the cardiovascular system. Sleep apnea can lead to diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, a higher risk for accidents while driving, and an overall lower quality of life.

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What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Man lying awake in bed with alarm clock on nightstand

There are several potential contributing factors for sleep apnea. Some are related to your anatomy. For example, you’re more likely to suffer from sleep apnea if you have a large tongue or a thicker neck. Your lifestyle matters as well. If you’re overweight, there may be more fat in your neck; the additional pressure can increase the chances of the airway becoming obstructed during the night. You might also be more likely to experience sleep apnea or loud snoring if you smoke or drink alcoholic beverages shortly before bed.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Man sleeping on his side with his mouth open

Different patients have different sleep apnea symptoms. Here are some of the most common warning signs:

  • Constantly feeling exhausted even when you get seven or more hours of sleep.
  • Loud snoring (which will most likely be noticed by someone else).
  • Having a headache or sore throat when you wake up.
  • Feeling like you need a nap during the day.
  • Frequently dozing off involuntarily.
  • Periodically waking up during the night gasping for air.
  • Sweating excessively while you’re asleep.
  • Having to make multiple nighttime bathroom visits.
  • Gaining weight or having a hard time losing weight.
  • Symptoms of depression or anxiety.
  • Mood swings.
  • “Brain fog” that causes confusion, forgetfulness, and a decreased ability to focus.
  • Sexual dysfunction.

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How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Close up of heart rate test results on paper

Since many of the symptoms of sleep apnea could point to other issues, a sleep test is required to confirm the diagnosis. Some sleep tests are performed in a sleep lab, but take-home tests are available as well. In both cases, a special device is used to monitor breathing, heartbeat, and other relevant factors. A sleep expert can review the results of your test to check for markers that indicate the presence of sleep apnea.

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How Sleep Apnea Can Be Treated

Man sleeping on his back with his mouth open

You may have heard of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP for short; this type of treatment involves using an air pump to force oxygen into the throat to maintain a clear airway, thus reducing sleep apnea symptoms. But for many people, CPAP therapy is too noisy and causes too much discomfort. Luckily, many people have the option of wearing an oral appliance instead. Each appliance is personalized to keep your sleep disorder under control while also making it easier to stay comfortable when you’re trying to sleep.

Treating Snoring Issues

Older man sleeping on his back with mouth open

Not everybody who snores has sleep apnea, but the two are very closely linked, and people who snore a lot are more likely to develop sleep apnea later on. Fortunately, oral appliance therapy can be an effective solution for both issues! Not only will you get better rest during the night, but you’ll no longer have to worry about your snoring keeping your loved ones up. Give our team at GoTo Sleep Center - Scottsdale a call to start learning more about the various benefits of oral appliance therapy.

Combined Therapy for Sleep Apnea

Young woman sleeping while wearing a C P A P mask on her face

Sometimes it might be necessary to use both an oral appliance and a CPAP machine to properly manage your sleep apnea. Since the oral appliance opens up the airway, the CPAP machine can be used at a lower setting, which goes a long way toward improving your comfort. It also means that the machine will emit less noise, making it easier to fall asleep. Generally, we suggest combined therapy for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea symptoms, especially if oral appliance therapy or CPAP therapy alone doesn’t deliver the results they want.

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