Sleep Apnea Treatment
Millions of adults in the United States suffer with a sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the most common problems that rob people of their shuteye and downgrade their quality of life. Fortunately, if you have OSA, your dentist in Clayton may be able to offer you a simple but effective solution. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Dedrickson, please get in touch with our office.
What Are the Signs of Sleep Apnea in Clayton?
Obstructive sleep apnea causes tissues at the back of the throat to over-relax during sleep, thereby blocking the airway and causing short periods where a person is unable to breathe (apneas). Breathing often resumes after a few seconds with a loud gasp or a violent jerk. Loud snoring is another common sign of this disorder.
Other common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Insomnia and/or restless sleep
- Excessive daytime fatigue
- Mood swings
- Trouble concentrating
- Slowed reaction times
- Waking up with a headache or sore throat
- Decreased interest in sexual intimacy
While anyone may suffer from sleep apnea, people in the following group are at an increased risk of developing this disorder.
- Obese individuals
- Those with a family history of OSA
- People with large tonsils
- Women past menopause
- People who breathe primary through their mouth at night
What Are the Dangers of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea does much more than make you tired. Getting enough rest on a daily basis is vital for your everyday functioning and your long-term wellness. Consistently failing to get adequate sleep puts you at an increased risk for several serious health conditions, including stroke, cardiovascular ill disease, and diabetes. Sleep apnea also affects hormone and energy levels, thus making it more difficult for its victims to manage their weight.
OSA presents more immediate dangers as well. Individuals with sleep apnea are at a greatly increased risk for being involved in motor vehicle accidents due to the slowed reaction times that sleep deprivation causes.
Finding Relief from Sleep Apnea
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, discuss your concerns with your physician, who can arrange for you to undergo a sleep test. You’ll spend a night in a laboratory hooked up to some machines that will monitor your breathing. The results of the test will reveal whether you have OSA and how severe your case is.
For some people, lifestyle changes may be able to manage their sleep apnea. For example, obese individuals who lose some weight may find that their symptoms go away. Not drinking alcohol before bedtime can also decrease the symptoms of this disorder.
Many doctors treat sleep apnea with a CPAP machine. However, individuals with a mild to moderate form of these disorder may have a simpler solution available to them. Dr. Dedrickson is able to design custom oral appliances that gently reposition the jaw at night, allowing air to flow into your body without hindrance. Many patients prefer this solution because it is more comfortable and less bulky than a CPAP machine.