Why Do I Need to Treat My Sleep Apnea?

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, it is important to treat it to avoid some serious health risks associated with the condition. Sleep apnea causes you to experience repeated interruptions in breathing while asleep. In order to resume breathing, your brain must rouse you from sleep. This cycle can occur hundreds of times a night without you being aware of it.

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of the condition, occurs when the soft tissue in your throat collapses and blocks your airway. This airway blockage results in an insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain and heart while you sleep. Over time, this can place you at a greater risk of developing conditions such as:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastric reflux
  • Depression

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Other warning signs that you may suffer from this condition include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Short term memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Sore throat or dry mouth

Dr. Heather Fleschler can devise a custom treatment plan for your sleep apnea, which usually consists of lifestyle changes. However, for more serious cases, Dr. Fleschler may recommend one of the following sleep apnea treatments:

  • Oral appliance therapy
  • CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure)
  • Positional sleep therapy
  • Surgery

For more information on sleep apnea or to schedule a diagnostic evaluation, please contact Dr. Heather Fleschler using the form on the right side of the page or call (713) 660-6500 today. Dr. Fleschler serves the West University, Bellaire, Meyerland, and River Oaks areas of Houston.

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