Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Francisco

Most people don’t think much about their breathing while they are asleep. But if you have sleep apnea or snore loudly, it can be a major problem for your health. You may not even be aware that you have this condition until you wake up feeling exhausted and foggy-headed.

If you have sleep apnea or think you may have it, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Contact our office today to see how our sleep apnea treatments can help you get a good night’s rest and improve your overall health.

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What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles of the upper airway relax during sleep, causing them to collapse and block airflow through the nose and mouth. This results in periods of interrupted breathing, which causes low oxygen levels in the blood. Sleep apnea is most common among people who are overweight and over the age of 40.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

In Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the soft tissue around the back of the throat collapses and blocks the passage of air into your lungs. With OSA, the patient repeatedly stops breathing throughout the night. These repeated interruptions cause you to wake up throughout the night and feel like you are choking.

Central Sleep Apnea

In Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), there is no obstruction in the airway, but the brain forgets to send signals to the respiratory system to start and stop breathing. CSA patients usually experience loud snoring and frequently wake up through the night.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can present itself in many ways, and it may not look the same in everyone.

Some of the common symptoms patients experience with sleep apnea include:

Snoring

Morning headaches

Excessive daytime sleepiness

Irritability

Frequently waking up throughout the night

Fatigue

Insomnia

Health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure

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Diagnosing Sleep Apnea in Patients

The first step in diagnosing your sleep apnea is an overnight sleep study. During this test, your breathing patterns will be monitored as well as other vital signs while you sleep. A nasal cannula is used to measure the amount of oxygen being delivered to your lungs. The results from these tests will tell us whether you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or central sleep apnea.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

Once diagnosed, patients should receive treatment for sleep apnea. There are two types of treatments: surgical and non-surgical. Non-surgical options include weight loss, oral appliances, and CPAP therapy. Surgical options are usually the last resort when non-surgical options have been exhausted.

CPAP

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) uses a mask that is placed on the patient’s face during sleep, and it provides continuous positive air pressure to keep the throat open. The mask must be worn while sleeping each night to be effective.

Oral Appliance Therapy

An oral appliance is a custom-made device that holds the jaw forward and opens the airway. Oral appliances are usually recommended for mild cases of sleep apnea. They are less invasive than surgery and do not require wearing a mask at night. However, oral appliances are only effective for mild cases of sleep apnea.

Lifestyle Changes

Patients with sleep apnea are often encouraged to make lifestyle changes to help treat their sleep apnea. These include losing excess weight, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol intake.

Surgical Treatments

Surgery is an option for severe cases of sleep apnea when non-surgical methods are unsuccessful.

Contact Us

Our team of experienced doctors and staff is here to provide you with the best care available. Sleep apnea is not something to be taken lightly, and our team is happy to help get your health on the right track.

Call us today to schedule an appointment and find out which treatment is right for you.