Sleep Apnea Edmonton: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Sleep Apnea Edmonton: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

June 28, 2023


Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects a significant number of individuals in Edmonton and around the world. It can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life and overall health. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options available for sleep apnea in Edmonton.

1. What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, known as apneas, can last for a few seconds to a few minutes and occur multiple times throughout the night. Sleep apnea can significantly disrupt a person’s sleep patterns and lead to various health issues if left untreated.

2. Types Of Sleep Apnea

There are three main types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This is the most common type, where the airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep due to relaxed throat muscles.
  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): This type occurs when the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (CompSA): This is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

3. Causes Of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can have several causes, including:

  • Obesity: Excess weight can contribute to the narrowing of the airway, making it more susceptible to blockages.
  • Structural Abnormalities: Certain physical characteristics, such as a deviated septum or enlarged tonsils, can obstruct the airway and lead to sleep apnea.
  • Age: Sleep apnea becomes more prevalent as individuals get older.
  • Family History: There may be a genetic predisposition to developing sleep apnea.

4. Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes of gasping or choking during sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability and mood changes
  • Frequent urination during the night

5. Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

To diagnose sleep apnea, a sleep study, also known as polysomnography, is conducted. This study monitors various parameters, including brain waves, heart rate, breathing patterns, and oxygen levels, during a night of sleep. The results help determine the presence and severity of sleep apnea.

6. Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea

There are several treatment options available for sleep apnea, depending on the severity and underlying causes. These include:

  • Lifestyle Changes: Modifying certain lifestyle factors such as weight loss, regular exercise, and avoiding alcohol and sedatives can improve sleep apnea symptoms.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy: CPAP machines deliver a constant flow of air through a mask, keeping the airway open during sleep.
  • Dental Devices: Custom-made oral appliances can help reposition the jaw and tongue to keep the airway open.
  • Surgery: Surgical procedures may be recommended to remove excess tissue, correct structural abnormalities, or create a new airway passage.
  • Alternative Therapies: Some individuals may benefit from therapies like positional therapy or hypoglossal nerve stimulation.

7. Lifestyle Changes To Manage Sleep Apnea

In addition to the specific treatment options, certain lifestyle changes can help manage sleep apnea effectively. These include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Sleeping on your side
  • Elevating the head of the bed
  • Avoiding alcohol and sedatives
  • Establishing a consistent sleep schedule

8. CPAP Therapy For Sleep Apnea

CPAP therapy is one of the most common and effective treatments for sleep apnea. It involves wearing a mask connected to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air to keep the airway open. CPAP therapy helps reduce snoring and improve the quality of sleep.

9. Dental Devices For Sleep Apnea

Dental devices, also known as oral appliances, can be used to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. These devices are custom-made to fit the individual’s mouth and work by repositioning the jaw and tongue to prevent airway blockages.

10. Surgery For Sleep Apnea

Surgical interventions may be recommended for severe cases of sleep apnea or when other treatments have not been successful. The specific surgical procedures vary depending on the underlying cause of sleep apnea and may involve removing excess tissue, correcting structural abnormalities, or creating a new airway passage.

11. Alternative Therapies For Sleep Apnea

In addition to conventional treatments, there are alternative therapies that can help manage sleep apnea. These include positional therapy, which involves using special devices or techniques to encourage sleeping in a particular position that reduces airway obstruction. Hypoglossal nerve stimulation is another emerging therapy that targets the nerves controlling the tongue to prevent blockages during sleep.

12. Managing Sleep Apnea In Children

Sleep apnea can also affect children. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms, such as snoring, mouth breathing, and restless sleep, and seek appropriate medical attention. Treatment options for pediatric sleep apnea may include lifestyle changes, removal of tonsils and adenoids, or the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

13. Sleep Apnea And Mental Health

Sleep apnea has been linked to various mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. The disrupted sleep patterns and oxygen deprivation associated with sleep apnea can have a negative impact on mood, cognitive function, and overall mental well-being. Treating sleep apnea can help improve these mental health conditions.

14. Sleep Apnea And Chronic Diseases

Sleep apnea has also been associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. The repeated interruptions in breathing and oxygen deprivation can put a strain on the cardiovascular system and affect metabolic processes. Managing sleep apnea is crucial for reducing the risk of these chronic diseases.

At Viva Dental Wellness in South Edmonton, we understand the impact that sleep apnea can have on your health and well-being. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing comprehensive dental care, including the treatment of sleep apnea. If you or your loved ones are struggling with sleep apnea symptoms, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a better night’s sleep and improved overall health. Don’t let sleep apnea hold you back – let Viva Dental Wellness be your partner in achieving optimal wellness.


Can sleep apnea be cured?

While sleep apnea cannot be completely cured, it can be effectively managed with appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes.

Is snoring always a sign of sleep apnea?

Not all snorers have sleep apnea, but loud and chronic snoring can be an indication of an underlying sleep disorder that should be evaluated.

Can sleep apnea affect children?

Yes, sleep apnea can affect children. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary.

What are the long-term effects of untreated sleep apnea? 

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to various health issues, including cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and mental health disorders.

Are there any natural remedies for sleep apnea? 

While lifestyle changes like weight loss and positional therapy can help manage sleep apnea, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

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