Sleep apnea might seem like a mild annoyance. But if you’ve been putting up with interrupted sleep for some time, you’re at a heightened risk for other health problems. And that says nothing of the short-term effects – some of the most frustrating being irritability, difficulty concentrating, and a compromised quality of life. If you suspect you may be struggling with sleep apnea, you owe it to yourself to learn more.
Today, treating sleep apnea can be as simple as the use of an oral appliance. But we’ll need to diagnose your sleep apnea before we can tell you more. If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the most common type, an oral appliance will help keep your airway open throughout the night. Read on to learn more – and schedule a free consultation today.
Serious Risks of Sleep Apnea
- Daytime exhaustion – When you’re tired all day, you get less done – and take less pleasure in your daily life. Sleep apnea also causes difficulty concentrating and forming new short term memories. Some patients struggle with falling asleep while driving or in other unsafe settings.
- High blood pressure – When your breathing ceases throughout the night, the blood oxygen levels drop. This increases blood pressure and strains the cardiovascular system.
- Heart problems – OSA can increase the risk of heart attack and abnormal heartbeats. It can also increase the risk of stroke.
- Diabetes – Those with sleep apnea are more likely to become resistant to insulin, leading to type 2 diabetes.
- Complications with anesthesia – OSA can cause complications with certain medications and anesthesia. Since people with OSA are more likely to have breathing problems, sedation can be dangerous.
- Liver problems – Sleep apnea can increase likelihood of abnormal liver function and liver scarring, which may be classified as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Sleep-deprived families – The snoring that frequently accompanies sleep apnea makes it difficult for partners and other family members to get enough rest. This can cause relationship problems and frustrations at home.
Common Sleep Apnea Symptoms
There are a few different sleep disorders that can be confused for sleep apnea. In order to get a definitive diagnosis, you will need to meet with a medical professional. But there are symptoms that point to the need for that appointment. If you’re regularly sleeping poorly and feeling tired throughout the day, look for the following symptoms:
- Sore or dry throat in the morning
- Snoring (ask your partner or family members if they hear snoring in the night)
- Waking up frequently choking or gasping
- Restless sleep
- Exhaustion and difficulty focusing
- Depression or irritability
If your sleep apnea is obstructive, it is caused by physical blockage. This means that something (usually your tongue) is covering your airway while you sleep. If your sleep apnea is central, it is caused by neurological problems and may require a CPAP machine to treat. Fortunately, the majority of sleep apnea cases are caused by obstruction of the airway – and these can usually be treated with an oral appliance.
Sleep Apnea Treatment with An Oral Appliance
An oral appliance is comfortable and simple to use. You wear the custom-fitted appliance during the night. After a brief adjustment period, it will feel normal in your mouth. The appliance will help keep your airway open by pulling your tongue slightly forward or keeping your lower jaw in an ideal position. We will recommend the appliance that functions best to fulfill your needs.
Ready to learn more? Simply fill out the form below and we will be in touch! Don’t let sleep apnea impact your nights (and days) any longer.