Sleep Apnea Treatment – San Pedro, California

According to Dr. Shah “Sleep Apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. Symptoms include snoring, snorting or gasping during sleep and daytime sleepiness. Apnea comes from the Greek word meaning want of breath. The reason that Sleep Apnea is so dangerous is because when the soft tissue at the rear of the throat collapses and closes the airway, it forces sufferers to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep – as frequently as a hundred times in one night. Sleep Apnea sufferers are typically over-weight men over the age of 40, although the condition can affect women as well. More than 12 million Americans are believed to have the condition, while it is estimated that 10 million more remain undiagnosed. Twenty five percent of people over the age of 65 are also at risk. Certain ethnic groups are more prone to suffer from Sleep Apnea, including African Americans, Pacific Islanders and Mexicans. Smoking and alcohol use increase the risk of Sleep Apnea, but certain lifestyle changes including weight loss, use of recommended oral appliances (like a bite plate or CPAP device) or surgery can mitigate its effects. If left untreated, Sleep Apnea can be life threatening – consequences include high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

Sleep Apnea Treatment and Insurance:

Dr. Shah: In my experience, the best treatment for Sleep Apnea is the CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) device worn over the face during sleep. This consists of an air blower connected by a tube to a face mask. Patients wear the mask while sleeping, and the air blower forces air into the nasal pas-sages to keep the airway open during sleep. The pressure is adjusted carefully so that it is just enough to keep the airway from collapsing.

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