Rest Easy With Sleep Apnea Treatment in Tampa

Adults require seven to nine hours of sleep per night to maintain tip-top mental and physical health. What many adults fail to realize is that going to bed at 10 p.m. and waking up at 7 a.m. doesn’t necessarily guarantee a full night’s rest, especially when you suffer from sleep apnea, a common condition that can lead to serious complications when left untreated.

Quality of sleep is integral to keeping up with work, school, and whatever else life decides to throw at you, so if your sleep pattern is disrupted by sleep apnea in the middle of the night, it can affect your energy level the following morning. Over time, day after day of low-quality rest compounds, resulting in debilitating fatigue. Sleep apnea can have an adverse effect on virtually all aspects of your life, which means promptly seeking sleep apnea treatment in Tampa is the only way to manage your condition before it permanently damages your quality of life.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Apnea is a Greek word that means “want of breath.” When an individual suffers from sleep apnea, their ability to breathe throughout the night is restricted. The lungs “want” more air than they are receiving, which causes these individuals with sleep apnea to gasp for air during the middle of the night, snore loudly, or cease breathing altogether. In the daytime, individuals with sleep apnea often experience headaches, difficulty staying awake, lack of focus, sexual dysfunction, dry mouth, and impaired memory or motor functions. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles of the soft palate and the uvula relax. This closes the airways and deoxygenates the blood, a condition known as hypoxia. It can also cause a spike in blood pressure, prevent essential REM sleep, and increase the amount of stress on the heart. All of these factors combine to deprive you of the quality sleep you need to live a fulfilling life.

Central sleep apnea is another, rarer form of sleep apnea that occurs when the brain doesn’t send the necessary signals to your breathing muscles, resulting in breathing that stops and starts throughout the night. Some adults develop this condition in connection with heart failure or stroke. Sleeping at high altitudes can also cause an individual to experience central sleep apnea.

Complex sleep apnea affects those who suffer from both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. While researchers are still learning more about complex sleep apnea, effective treatment options are available from a sleep apnea doctor in Tampa.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

The cause of sleep apnea differs from person to person, but it can typically be traced back to an individual’s physical structure or existing medical conditions. The most common causes of sleep apnea include:

  • Obesity leads to fat deposits in the neck that restrict the upper airway.
  • Large tonsils constrict the upper airway.
  • Endocrine disorders can restrict breathing during sleep. Some examples include hypothyroidism, acromegaly, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Neuromuscular conditions may interfere with the brain signals that control breathing.  Stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Chiari malformations, myotonic dystrophy, post-polio syndrome, dermatomyositis, myasthenia gravis, and Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome are all conditions that can lead to sleep apnea.
  • Heart or kidney failure causes fluid buildup in the neck that obstructs the upper airway.
  • Genetic syndromes affecting the face or skull can cause sleep apnea. Some examples include cleft lip and cleft palate, Down syndrome, and congenital central hypoventilation syndrome.
  • Premature birth increases the risk of respiratory issues during sleep; however, this risk may decrease with the maturation of the brain.

Other risk factors include unhealthy lifestyle habits, family history and genetics, and race or ethnicity. Some of these risk factors can be controlled through lifestyle modification — eating healthier, quitting smoking, exercising more frequently, etc. Of course, you can’t change your family history or genetics, but a sleep apnea doctor in Tampa can still help you find relief after diagnosing your condition.

How a Sleep Apnea Doctor in Tampa Diagnoses and Treats Patients

There are a number of ways to diagnose sleep apnea. After ruling out other potential medical reasons for your signs and symptoms, the doctor will review your medical history, conduct a physical exam, or analyze the results of a sleep study to determine whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea. Once your diagnosis is complete, you can proceed to treatment. 

The key to overcoming the majority of sleep apnea cases is ensuring that a patient’s airways remain open while they sleep. For some, this can be accomplished through lifestyle modification, and for others, it may require the use of a breathing device. For example, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can be used to pump air into your lungs, preventing airway obstruction. Additionally, you can wear a custom mouthpiece, or oral appliance, to help you breathe at night. The Food and Drug Administration has also improved the use of an implant to treat sleep apnea.

For some seeking sleep apnea treatment in Tampa, a surgical option will be the ideal treatment method. Ravikanth Vydyula, M.D, is an experienced sleep apnea doctor in Tampa who treats patients with both surgical and non-surgical methods. Dr. Vydyula can determine which surgical procedure, if any, is right for you. Furthermore, as an interventional pulmonologist, he can employ several advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to improve patient outcomes. 

To schedule a consultation with Ravikanth Vydyula, M.D., a sleep apnea doctor in Tampa, please request an appointment today.

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