Sleep apnea is the second most common sleep disorder in the United States (just behind insomnia), affecting about 20 million people each and every night. When a person suffers from sleep apnea, they periodically stop breathing while they are asleep, and this forces the body to panic and wake up in order to prevent them from suffocating. This can happen dozens of times each hour, ruining a person’s sleep and putting their body through tremendous stress. Luckily, we can treat this condition and help you achieve deeper rest for better nights and more energetic days.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is by far the most common type of sleep apnea. With OSA, cessation in breathing occurs because the soft tissues in the mouth and throat relax and collapse into the airway. Although anyone can have this condition, it is more common among men who are overweight than any other demographic.
Sleep apnea can be tough to diagnose on your own simply because you can’t actually watch yourself sleep. Most of the time, it’s a bed partner that first notices that something is wrong. Some signs of OSA include the following:
If you believe that you have OSA, you don’t have to suffer with these unpleasant symptoms. You can treat it and have a better night’s sleep.
In addition to the short-term effects of sleep apnea, the condition can also lead to potentially serious health issues. Whenever the body is forced to wake itself up in order to restore normal breathing, a person’s blood pressure skyrockets. Unfortunately, it typically doesn’t come back down for many hours, and this heightened blood pressure can actually remain during a person’s waking hours as well. In the medical field, high blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because it is one of the biggest risk factors in heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
Plus, for anyone who drives a car on a regular basis, being sleep deprived makes you much more likely to be in an accident. This, in addition to mood swings and depression, is how sleep apnea can end up having a very big impact on your quality of life.
If you believe that you are suffering from sleep apnea, don’t worry. There are very effective treatment options you can get today. The first thing you need to do is get a proper diagnosis, as 80% of sleep apnea cases go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years. You can visit your primary care physician and describe your symptoms, and they may ask you to have a sleep study performed. You can have it performed in a lab, or you can contact us, and we can provide you with an easy-to-use take home sleep test. Once you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can provide the proper treatment.
Currently, the most commonly prescribed treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy. For this treatment, a patient wears a facial mask that is connected to an air pump which forces oxygen into their throat in order to keep the airway unobstructed. As you can imagine, many patients find this extremely uncomfortable. For them, we can offer an alternative called oral appliance therapy with SomnoMed.
Rather than relying on a bulky and noisy machine, it only uses a small, custom-made mouthguard. It has been shown to improve the sleep quality of 91% of the people who use it regularly.