What is Sleep Apnea?

What is Sleep Apnea?

This sleep disorder could be the reason you are extremely exhausted all of the time.sleep apnea

Do you find yourself unable to get out of bed each morning? Do you find that there isn’t enough coffee in the world to keep you awake at your desk? Do you find yourself almost falling asleep at the wheel on your way home from work? While these instances on their own might be par for the course for someone who is just having a poor sleep week, for someone with sleep apnea, all of these issues are regular occurrences. Our Long Beach, CA, otolaryngologists, Dr. Jesse Tan and Dr. Jesus Tan, are here to tell you more about sleep apnea and how it can be managed.

What is sleep apnea?

This sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans causes shallow breathing or pauses in breathing throughout the course of the night. When these pauses occur this awakens the sleeper and affects the person’s overall quality of sleep. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?

One of the classic signs of sleep apnea is chronic, loud snoring. Of course, not all people who snore end up having sleep apnea. Since breathing cessations are interrupting your sleep throughout the course of the night it means that you aren’t getting quality sleep. As a result, you may experience frequent morning headaches, daytime exhaustion, poor concentration and memory, and irritability.

Why does sleep apnea need to be treated?

Sleep apnea needs to be treated as soon as possible not just to improve your quality of sleep but also to protect your overall health. As you might imagine, these breathing cessations can occur hundreds of times throughout the course of one night. This also means that there isn’t enough oxygen getting to the brain. If sleep apnea is severe enough and never gets treated, it can lead to brain damage.

Furthermore, untreated sleep apnea can also increase your chances for certain chronic and potentially life-threatening health problems such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Asthma

This is why it’s important to turn to our Long Beach ENT doctors as soon as possible to find out if your symptoms could be due to obstructive sleep apnea.

There are ways to manage your symptoms to vastly improve the quality of your sleep. A common method is CPAP therapy. An otolaryngologist can also create a custom-made oral device, known as oral appliance therapy, that can also help you get your sleep apnea symptoms under control.

In severe or persistent cases that don't respond to other treatments, surgery may be needed. A revolutionary procedure using a surgical robot can be performed to remove a portion of the base of tongue, significantly improving the airway and patients' sleep apnea. Dr. Tan is the only surgeon in the greater Long Beach area who is trained to do this highly specialized robotic procedure, and he has helped many people overcome their sleep apnea with this operation.

Are you displaying symptoms of sleep apnea? Want to get to the bottom of your sleep disturbances? Then it’s time to turn to Tan Head & Neck Clinic in Long Beach, CA. Call us today.