Sleep apnea is a condition to take very seriously because it can lead to other major health consequences. We provide effective treatment for many cases of sleep apnea to help you improve your health.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is defined as a condition that causes you to experience frequent and recurring shortness of breath while sleeping. It can be caused by the individual’s throat becoming overly relaxed while sleeping which blocks the airways and prevents normal breathing. This is referred to as obstructive sleep apnea.
Signs of sleep apnea include poor sleeping habits, frequent sore throats, recurring headaches, and a general inability to get a restful night’s sleep.
We’re concerned about the overall health of our patients, including their sleep health. Many people suffer needlessly from dangerous sleep disruptive disorders that keep them from getting enough oxygen at night. The risk of a heart attack is 23 times more likely than average with a sleep disorder, and 92% of stroke victims live unknowingly with this condition before an attack. Our training allows us to offer you education and treatment surrounding sleep health in the simplest and most cost-effective way possible.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is commonly caused by a person’s throat becoming overly relaxed while sleeping and blocking the airways—preventing normal breathing. This is referred to as obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common type.
The condition is normally associated with loud, intense snoring, but just because a person snores doesn’t mean they have sleep apnea. It can be caused by being overweight, excessive alcohol consumption or drug use can cause the airways to become more relaxed and cause blockages, and it can also be caused by genetics. People with a family history of sleep apnea are more likely to suffer from the condition. It also more commonly affects men than women.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Sleep apnea is typically diagnosed using a polysomnogram or a sleep study. During a sleep study, a sleep physician monitors brain activity and body system functioning while a patient rests overnight at a sleep lab. The specialist evaluates the study data collected to diagnose sleep disorders and recommend treatment. If indicated by the sleep doctor, a dentist trained in sleep medicine works with him/her to treat obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. In some cases, a home sleep study may also be possible instead of reporting to a sleep lab.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are listed below. Just because you have one, or a few of these, doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea. Check with your doctor to be certain.
- Very loud snoring
- Sleepiness and loss of energy when awake
- Painful headaches
- Restless sleep
- Insomnia and recurrent awakenings
- Waking up with a dry or sore throat
- Waking up in the night with gasping or choking sensations
- Sudden mood changes
- Poor concentration
- Going to the bathroom frequently at night
How is sleep apnea treated?
Treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea may involve surgery, CPAP or BiPAP machines, or oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances provide the least invasive option and often a good choice for the treatment of mild to moderate OSA. A carefully calibrated appliance can comfortably help hold the jaw in a precise position throughout the night, allowing critical oxygen flow.
All treatment recommendations should be made in consultation with your sleep physician. Once a treatment path that you can use consistently is chosen, we may be able to provide critical support for your efforts. If appliance therapy is selected, it’s essential the right method and positioning are designed to precisely maintain your airway.
If you have more questions about sleep apnea or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact our office using the buttons below.