Sleep apnea can have major health consequences if left untreated. As a leading internist, Dr. Zakhary offers patients throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth region state-of-the-art treatments for snoring & sleep apnea at his practice, A-Z Internal Medicine.
Sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea, is a medical issue which occurs when the soft tissues of the throat become lax or loose and obstruct the airway when a person is asleep, causing the person to stop breathing. It can stop for a moment or for longer periods. Often the apneas take place multiple times a night and interrupt the person’s sleep cycle. In severe cases it may happen more than 30 times an hour! The condition can often go unnoticed, however it can cause symptoms which wake or disturb the person such as snoring or choking.
Snoring occurs with sleep apnea but not every snoring person has sleep apnea. Snoring can also be caused by allergies, colds, and issues which cause the sinus passages to become clogged. If you experience snoring in addition to other symptoms such as daytime sleepiness, forgetfulness, problems concentrating or moodiness, please give us a call and schedule an appointment.
Sleep apnea has been linked to increased risk for developing heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression and cognitive disorders. The interruptions which sleep apnea causes can also increase the chance of being involved in a car accident which occurs because the person is very fatigued when driving.
Those with milder symptoms can have 1) laser snoring treatment "Nightlase" where laser energy is used to heat the airway tissues causing a tightening and lifting effect which helps keep your airway open, or 2) an oral appliance, Somnodent, which is custom made by a specialized dentist. These are worn in the mouth every night and help to shift the lower jaw forward which keeps the airway clear. The oral appliances are custom made for each person and are comfortable to use when sleeping. For those whose symptoms are more severe, continuous positive airway pressure, CPAP, or surgery are the options.