Sleep apnea can be a terrible burden. In addition to strained relationships due to snoring and snorting all night, lack of real sleep can leave you dazed and confused in waking hours, unable to make clear decisions or do things like drive safely.
At SLENT, with locations in Mandeville, Slidell, and Hammond, Louisiana, our otolaryngology specialists can help you overcome sleep apnea using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) supplied by a CPAP machine
Sleep apnea basics
Sleep apnea can be caused by a problem in the brain that stops you from breathing (rare) or by obstruction of the airway (common). With obstructive sleep apnea (OSA, thought to affect up to 22 million people), the muscles at the back of your tongue and throat relax while you’re sleeping, and the collapsing tissues obstruct your airway.
This isn’t immediately dangerous; after a short period, the brain realizes it’s not getting oxygen and invokes a startle response that’s just enough to tighten the muscles and lift the soft tissue out of your airway, but it’s not enough to wake you up (although you may rouse slightly due to a snort or choking sound as you inhale sharply).
Untreated, sleep apnea can lead to severe complications, including:
- Daytime sleepiness and chronic fatigue
- Morning headaches
- Brain fog or forgetfulness
- Trouble performing at school or at work
- Physical and mental health issues
If you have OSA, your doctor will likely send you for a sleep study, then prescribe a CPAP machine to help you breathe and sleep well at night.
Continuous positive airway pressure is the leading treatment for people with severe sleep apnea. The machine has a mask that fits securely over the lower face, and a goose tube that continually sends a stream of air into your mouth. This continuous air flow creates positive air pressure and keeps your airway clear.
Although the CPAP machine is the best way to resolve sleep apnea, in the first five years of use, a whopping 20% of people give up on their machine. Having guidance from professionals is key to making your CPAP machine work for you.
We show you everything you need to know about your CPAP machine, from how to set it up and adjust it for the right amount of air flow, to tips and tricks for sleeping soundly with the mask and chin strap in place.
With CPAP, you can finally get a good night’s sleep again and say goodbye to troublesome sleep apnea symptoms that make your life difficult and could even be dangerous.
Ready to talk about a sleep apnea solution? Call our nearest location, or book a consultation online today for assistance in getting an OSA diagnosis and starting to sleep better with CPAP.