Sleep Apnea Specialist

Beach Cities ENTS

Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists located in Torrance, CA

Sleep apnea can cause devastating health complications. At Beach Cities ENTS, in Torrance, California, the board-certified team of ear, nose, and throat specialists can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms and provide expert solutions. Along with traditional sleep apnea treatment, Beach Cities ENTS offers Inspire®, a revolutionary neurostimulator device that works with your natural breathing process. Let Beach Cities ENTS help you get a restful night's sleep. Call the South Bay area office today or schedule an appointment online.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

Snoring occurs when there is a partial blockage in your breathing. When the blockage is complete, you develop sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that interferes with your nighttime breathing. If you have sleep apnea, you may stop breathing many times during the night. 

People with sleep apnea often wake up gasping or choking because their brian senses there is not enough oxygen. Once they wake up, the cycle starts again. Other symptoms of sleep apnea can include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Sore throat
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Waking with a dry mouth
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Daytime grogginess
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Irritability or depression

Sleep apnea doesn't always cause noticeable symptoms. Many people with sleep apnea aren't aware they have the condition, but sleep apnea can have a severe impact on your health. In some cases, the condition can even be life-threatening. 

What health risks are linked to sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can trigger a wide range of health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of having a heart attack
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes

People with sleep apnea often feel drowsy during the daytime. This drowsiness can affect your performance at school or work. 

It can also cause concentration problems when you're driving. If you have sleep apnea, you could be at a higher risk of accidents and injuries. 

How is sleep apnea treated?

If your Beach Cities ENTS provider suspects that you have sleep apnea, they may suggest a sleep study. Sleep studies occur in a medical center or at your home. 

During the study, you're hooked up to machines that track your breathing and heart rhythms. If your test reveals that you have sleep apnea, your provider helps you review your treatment options. 

Mild cases of sleep apnea often respond to lifestyle changes. Your provider may suggest that you lose weight, avoid alcohol, or quit smoking. They may suggest getting enough sleep, using a humidifier, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. You might also need to take medication such as nasal sprays or shots for sinus problems like seasonal allergies.

Changing sleeping positions could help as well. If you sleep on your back, turning to your side or stomach may improve your snoring. To avoid turning over while asleep, sleep with a shirt that has a tennis ball on the back to make it uncomfortable to switch positions.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines can also treat sleep apnea. These machines deliver air pressure through a mask that fits over your face. The air pressure keeps your airways open, so you're able to breathe normally while you're asleep. 

Are there any alternatives to a CPAP mask?

CPAP masks are a highly effective treatment for sleep apnea, but not everyone can tolerate them. Many people find the mask uncomfortable or difficult to use.

If you struggle to cope with your CPAP mask, your provider may suggest an oral appliance. These devices adjust the position of your jaw to open up your airway. Your provider might also suggest Inspire®.

Inspire is an FDA-approved, clinically proven neurostimulator device. This device is placed in your neck and chest during a simple outpatient procedure. 

While you sleep, Inspire delivers electrical stimulation to prevent your tongue and soft palate from relaxing into your airway. This stimulation is not painful and doesn’t wake you up during the night.

Other surgical procedures can also help resolve your symptoms. Surgery can be done to remove anatomical obstructions in your nose or throat to improve airflow. Some operations can also reposition your jaw or tongue. Your board-certified Beach Cities ENTS surgeon may recommend:

  • Septoplasty to straighten a crooked septum inside the nose
  • Tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy to increase breathing space in the throat
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or expansion pharyngoplasty to removes excess palate tissues

Are you concerned you may have sleep apnea? Let Beach Cities ENTS provide an expert evaluation. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online.

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