Though snoring at night is not always a sign of a larger problem, it can be indicative of a potentially serious condition called sleep apnea. But what is sleep apnea and how can it affect you? Find out if you have the symptoms of sleep apnea and what kinds of treatments can help you with the sleep medicine specialists at Northwest Neurology with locations in Lake Barrington, Rolling Meadows, South Barrington, Crystal Lake, and Libertyville, IL.
There are two main types of sleep apnea: obtrusive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). A combination of both types of sleep apnea is called mixed sleep apnea. OSA occurs when an obstruction physically blocks the airway, causing pauses in breathing, called apneas, while you sleep. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the correct signals to the lungs, resulting in them not functioning correctly and causing apneas.
Your doctor will take into consideration your complaints, symptoms, family and medical history, and lifestyle choices like diet and tobacco or alcohol use. Your doctor may also order a sleep study, which takes place either at home or in a laboratory. The sleep study occurs overnight. Patients sleep in the laboratory while connected to monitoring devices and being observed by technicians who record the monitors’ outputs and the symptoms present while sleeping.
Treating sleep apnea may being with changes to your lifestyle like quitting smoking, losing weight, or more closely watching your alcohol intake. However, in some cases, a dental device which pulls the jaw forward, eliminating the obstruction, may work towards a more restful night’s sleep. One of the most common treatments for sleep apnea is a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, machine. This machine has a mask which covers the mouth and nose and delivers a continuous, gentle stream of air into the airway. The air keeps the airway open and prevents it from collapsing or becoming obstructed.
For more information on sleep apnea, please contact Northwest Neurology. Call (847) 882-6604 to speak to our Sleep Apnea specialists at our Lake Barrington, Rolling Meadows, South Barrington, Crystal Lake and Libertyville locations.