If you don’t consider sleep apnea in Fort Collins to be a threat to your health, look at the origins of “apnea.” It comes from a Greek phrase meaning “without breath.” Sleep apnea sufferers stop breathing many times throughout the night. This not only disrupts your rest, but it also makes you susceptible to serious issues such as high blood pressure and stroke. Fortunately, Dr. Mark Kollar has extensive experience with sleep apnea treatment.Doctor Mark Kollar on sleep apnea Read Transcript
Sleep apnea is interesting. It's come onto the scene in the last 10 or 15, 20 years, and it's becoming more recognized than it ever has before. In Colorado, because of our altitude, the ear, nose, and throat specialists, they have been quoted to say that the incidence of sleep apnea is 70 percent, which is close to gum disease if not just about the same. Now, sleep apnea is an issue because during the night when you're sleeping if you stop breathing, you produce adrenaline that goes onto your heart to tell your heart to pump faster to get oxygen to your brain, because you're not breathing. If you – it's called desaturation if you're not breathing – so if you desaturate during the evenings, 10, 20, 30, 40 times an hour, with perfect heart statistics and good cholesterol, 10, 15, 20 years down the way, your heart can just get tired and stop, and you have perfect statistics.
We refer people to physicians and PAs for evaluations when we recognize it, because often we can see it if people are clenching or grinding, or their muscles are sore around their mouth. We also want them to go and get a screening, which is very simple. It's a little box about the size of a card deck, it's got a thin wire, you tape it on your finger, go to sleep, wake up, and it'll give you an answer. If you know you don't have it, that's as valuable as knowing if you do. There are dental appliances that can reposition your lower jaw forward and open up the airway at night. Then there are physician-directed treatments around CPAP machines, which would, positive airflow, and that helps people almost immediately if they have that condition, because they're usually sleeping in the morning, because they're not sleeping very much at night. Those are huge helps that also can help with blood pressure if blood pressure's out of range and the medication is kind of working, or maybe it's not working, or maybe there was a better medication they would put it on. Having a full night's sleep can also affect blood pressure in a positive way, changing the kind of medication that you might need or at least minimizing it. It does have an effect, total body, and we're part of that to help people move to a place with a solution.
Our treatment will:
- Help you – and others in your household – rest more easily
- Reduce your risk of conditions related to apnea, such as stroke
- Help you stay more alert and focused when you’re awake
- Eliminate unpleasant sleep apnea symptoms, such as headache and dry mouth
- Offer an alternative to treatment with a CPAP machine
We’ll Tailor Sleep Apnea Treatment to Your Individual Needs
Thanks to his experience with sleep apnea treatment, Dr. Kollar can help you get a sleep apnea diagnosis. Depending on the severity of apnea, he’ll recommend an appropriate treatment. Since many people have trouble adjusting to a CPAP machine, we offer these CPAP alternatives:
- Behavior Modification – Dr. Kollar can suggest lifestyle changes that will minimize sleep apnea symptoms, including reducing alcohol consumption, losing weight, and stopping smoking.
- Sleep Apnea Appliance – A custom-made oral appliance will gently move your jaw forward into a position that keeps your airway open while you sleep. Unlike a CPAP, it doesn’t cover your face.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms Are a Sign You Need Help
Because it disturbs other members of your household, snoring is the sleep apnea symptom that prompts many people to seek help. Other symptoms include:
- Excessive fatigue during the day
- Waking up feeling tired rather than refreshed
- Difficulty concentrating on tasks
- Chronic headaches
- Gasping for breath in your sleep
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea in Fort Collins, call 970-689-3282.