Implantable Device for Sleep Apnea Treatment

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder in which a person experiences pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. It can occur several times throughout the night, leading to poor sleep quality and daytime fatigue. Sleep apnea can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the muscles that control airway collapse during sleep, blocking airflow into the lungs. This causes pauses in breathing for 10 seconds or more at a time. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) is less common than OSA and occurs when signals from the brain do not reach the muscles responsible for controlling breathing during sleep.
Treatment options for both types of Sleep Apnea include lifestyle changes such as weight loss and avoiding alcohol before bedtime; CPAP therapy; oral appliances; surgery; and implantable devices such as hypoglossal nerve stimulators. Each treatment option has its own benefits and risks associated with it so it’s important to discuss all available options with your doctor before making any decisions about treatment plans.

Causes of Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by a blockage in the airway. The most common cause of OSA is excess tissue in the throat, which can be due to obesity, large tonsils or adenoids, or a deviated septum. Other causes include enlarged tongue or uvula, receding chin or small jawbone structure.
In addition to physical factors that may lead to OSA, certain medications and alcohol can also contribute to its development. Medications such as sedatives and muscle relaxants depress the central nervous system which can make it difficult for your body to keep your airway open during sleep. Alcohol consumption depresses the muscles of your throat causing them to collapse more easily blocking off your airways while you are asleep.
Other medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, acromegaly and diabetes have been linked with an increased risk of developing OSA as well.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, frequent pauses in breathing during sleep, and excessive daytime fatigue. These can be observed by a sleeping partner or family member as well as the individual who is experiencing them. Other signs may include morning headaches, difficulty concentrating during the day, irritability and mood changes. Some people with sleep apnea also experience episodes of waking up gasping for air or choking sensations at night.
In addition to these physical and mental manifestations of sleep apnea, individuals may exhibit other symptoms such as dry mouth upon awakening; sore throat; chest pain while asleep; difficulty staying asleep throughout the night; and nighttime sweating. It is important to note that not everyone experiences all of these symptoms but rather some combination thereof.
Sleep studies are necessary to properly diagnose this condition since many times its signs are overlooked or misdiagnosed by healthcare professionals due to their non-specific nature. The results from such tests allow physicians to determine whether an individual has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or another type of disorder related to disrupted breathing patterns during restful periods like central sleep apnea (CSA).

Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can have significant impacts on an individual’s health and quality of life. It is important to accurately diagnose the condition in order to begin appropriate treatment. Diagnosis typically begins with a physical examination and review of medical history, followed by a polysomnogram (PSG) or home sleep test.

A PSG is usually conducted overnight in a hospital or clinic environment and involves monitoring various body functions such as brain activity, heart rate, breathing patterns, oxygen levels, muscle movements and snoring sounds while the patient sleeps. This information helps physicians identify any abnormalities associated with sleep apnea. Home sleep tests are similar but involve monitoring equipment being used at home instead of in a clinical setting. Both types of tests help determine if someone has obstructive or central sleep apnea as well as provide information about the severity of their condition so that an appropriate treatment plan can be developed.

Additional testing may also be done depending on the results from these initial exams such as additional imaging studies or pulmonary function testing which measure how efficiently lungs are working during rest and exercise activities respectively. Once all necessary tests have been completed, physicians will use this data to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend suitable treatments for managing symptoms caused by this sleeping disorder.

Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea: