Treatment Can Revitalize You
If you snore at night, it may not seem like a big deal. But snoring is one of the most noticeable signs of a severe sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep apnea affects more than 18 million Americans and most don’t even realize they have it.
Sleep apnea can make you feel exhausted every day and leads to serious health conditions. But with treatment, you can live your best life.
The Hazards of Untreated Sleep Apnea
If you believe you can go without treatment, you could be putting your life and the lives of others at risk. OSA deprives your brain of oxygen while you sleep, a contributing factor to many health conditions.
Some of the health conditions associated with sleep apnea include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Diabetes Type 2
Acquiring the Right Diagnosis
To determine your diagnosis, Dr. Roberta Garceau will complete a series of examinations and ask some basic questions about your lifestyle and the quality of sleep you’ve been getting.
Before Dr. Garceau can help treat you, you’ll need to undergo a sleep study. Sleep studies can be done in a sleep laboratory or the comfort of your own home with an at-home study. If you opt for an at-home study, you’ll bring the device back to Dr. Garceau, who will then direct you to a trained sleep technician for a full interpretation of your results.
Once a physician has provided you with a diagnosis, Dr. Garceau can help you get the sleep apnea treatment you need.
When you’re tired throughout the day, you can also be at risk for workplace accidents, motor vehicle accidents, and lost productivity. People with sleep apnea are more likely to experience multiple involuntary job losses and be in a car accident when behind the wheel.
Your Treatment Options
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are the industry standard treatment for sleep apnea, especially for severe cases. These devices ensure your airway remains open while you sleep so you can breathe.
Unfortunately, many CPAP users have difficulty using their device — finding it restrictive and unpleasant. It was found in one study that half of all the patients prescribed a CPAP machine stopped using it within a year.
Oral appliances are the second most recommended treatment method for sleep apnea, and they’re often an excellent alternative to CPAP machines. These appliances look like the mouthguards that athletes often wear, but they’re designed to be worn for sleep.
They’re small and portable, as well as being flexible and customized to your mouth for comfort. Oral appliances aren’t just for sleep apnea either — they can help with your snoring, even if it isn’t harming your health.
If general sleep apnea treatments are unsuccessful for you, surgery may be suggested. Sleep apnea is often caused or worsened by excess tissue in your neck, so removal of the adenoids, tonsils, or any other tissue may help your condition.
Alongside other treatment options, there are a variety of lifestyle changes you can make that help to reduce symptoms. Losing excess weight, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol, and avoiding sleeping pills are all changes that might help you.
Dr. Garceau Can Help
Sleep apnea can keep you from the people and activities you love. However, treatment can free you from being exhausted and worrying about the consequences of your condition. Dr. Garceau will help you at every step of the process and ensure you’re comfortable with your treatment.
To learn more, call us at (860) 254-6189 or fill out our online contact form, available on this page. We’ll be right with you to answer your questions or address your concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does CPAP work for everyone?
No — simply put, a CPAP machine is not the ideal form of treatment for everyone living with sleep apnea. While it is the most common form of treatment, many patients experience great difficulty adjusting to sleeping with the face mask on. In addition to discomfort, other problems or side effects associated with using a CPAP machine include dry sinuses and headaches. If you’re currently using a CPAP machine for sleep apnea treatment but find it uncomfortable, ask Dr. Garceau about alternative treatment options.
Can sleep apnea go away without treatment?
Unfortunately, sleep apnea will not miraculously disappear if you ignore it. It’s a serious medical condition that can lead to a number of secondary health problems and even death when left untreated. Getting a proactive diagnosis and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is the best way to improve your quality of life and protect your overall health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can also make a positive impact.
For example, if you’re suffering from obesity, implementing an exercise regimen and a healthy diet into your daily routine can help you shed excess weight and decrease symptoms of sleep apnea. Additionally, refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol may also help reduce your symptoms.