Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. Though this disorder is fairly common, it’s underdiagnosed because it can be overlooked.
OSA disrupts your ability to sleep soundly throughout the night. When your throat muscles relax, they can block your airway and cut off your supply of oxygen. To resume normal breathing, your body will wake you up briefly. Though some people wake up hundreds of times a night, they often don’t remember it.
That’s why OSA is referred to as a ‘silent killer.’ Undetected and untreated OSA can lead to heart attacks, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and more. Treatment for sleep apnea can elongate your life and give you more energy every day.
The most common signs of sleep apnea are:
If you notice these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, you may want to get a sleep test done. A sleep test is conducted by a physician in a sleep clinic or through an at-home test and it’ll monitor the quality as well as quantity of sleep you’re getting.
There are several causes of sleep apnea and there’s often more than one contributing factor to the development of sleep apnea. It’s important to remember that sleep apnea can affect people of all ages and body types, though being older and overweight increases your chances.
Other risk factors for OSA include having a thick neck, being male, smoking, and family history. If there are any lifestyle changes you can make to help alleviate your OSA alongside treatment, your dentist will provide guidance.
There are several treatment options for sleep apnea and we may suggest a combination of the most effective ones.
Continuous-positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are the most prevalent treatment option for sleep apnea. Through a mask you wear over your face as you sleep, the machine pushes air into your lungs. This keeps your airway open so you’ll breathe normally.
While CPAP can be highly effective, it’s generally disliked due to being constrictive and bulky. Many people stop using a CPAP after only one year, putting their health at risk rather than using the machine.
An oral appliance is a small, portable mouthpiece similar to a protective mouthguard that can adjust your jaw position. In most cases, oral appliances are effective alternatives to CPAP.
The appliance is customized to your mouth, so it’s comfortable and discreet. It’ll fit inside your mouth while you sleep and move your jaw forward slightly to open your airway.
Concerned about the possibility of sleep apnea? We can put a stop to your sleep troubles with comfortable appliances and individualized care.
To learn more about how we can help you or to schedule your consultation, contact our office by calling 940-566-4888 or by filling out our online form. We look forward to learning how we can help you.
CPAP machines can be noisy. Though they’re much less noisy than they used to be, some people still have difficulty sleeping while a CPAP machine is running. This is one of the reasons some people stop using them.
If the noise of a CPAP machine bothers you, an oral appliance can treat your sleep apnea silently. Oral appliances are simply mouthpieces that are designed keep your airway open, so they don’t make any noise.
Sleep apnea usually cannot be cured, but it depends on the cause of your condition. If your OSA is caused solely by excess weight, losing weight may greatly alleviate your sleep apnea. Even if you can’t be cured of your sleep apnea, treatment can improve your life significantly.
With the help of an oral appliance and lifestyle changes, sleep apnea can hardly be a part of your life anymore. You’ll have more energy and lower your risk for serious health conditions so you can spend more time with people you love.
Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a sleep study. This test can either be performed at a sleep clinic by a physician or through a take-home test. You’ll be hooked up to a machine that monitors the quality and quantity of sleep you’re getting.
A physician will examine the sleep test and determine if you have a sleep disorder. Once you have a diagnosis, we can help you find a solution that works for you.