If you’re snoring loudly at night, gasping for air during sleep, and experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, you may be having sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder on which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. This can make you feel so tired in the morning even if you think you have a full night’s sleep.
Sleep apnea may occur when your:
- Throat muscles relax
- Your brain doesn’t send the proper signals to your muscles that control breathing
There is a type of sleep apnea, called complex sleep apnea, that occurs as a result of both mechanisms (throat muscles relaxation and the brain not sending the proper signals).
If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, see a specialist immediately. Unmanaged sleep apnea can lead to heart problems and other complications.
Sleep apnea treatments at GKENT
To determine if you have a sleep disorder, our specialists at Greater Knoxville ENT will first do a sleep study.
After the sleep study and confirming your condition, any of the following treatments may be recommended:
Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP)
With BiPAP, you are provided with different pressures as you breathe in. These varying pressures can help in keeping your airway open or keep it from collapsing.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
The goal of the CPAP machine is the same as with BiPAP; that is, to keep your airway open and keep it from collapsing. This is achieved by constantly providing air into your airway during sleep.
Muscle relaxation of the throat is one of the causes of sleep apnea. This can be resolved through pillar implants.
Pillar implants are soft rods placed surgically at your soft palate. These implants harden your soft palate, which helps in reducing the vibration and relaxation of the muscles at the back of your throat.
If you’re ready to achieve a night of more restful sleep, request an appointment with one of our specialists. You may call us at (865) 244-4396.