Sleep disorders have become a serious health concern in the world today. Sleep apnea specifically affects at least 22 million Americans, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. It’s important to recognize possible signs of sleep apnea or excessive snoring and to find an appropriate treatment to maintain your good health.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Apnea may sound like a serious word, but it really only concerns breathing in general, both voluntary and involuntary. Sleep apnea refers to a condition where a person stops breathing while asleep for periods of 10-30 seconds, which can happen several times in a single night.
For most, this condition can sound like loud snoring, waking up suddenly, gasping for air or sudden pauses with no air movement. Sleep apnea can result in a series of daytime symptoms, including drowsiness, poor mental function, and mood problems. This condition can actually lead to the development of diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, liver disease, and heart problems (palpitations, heart attacks, and high blood pressure).
Persistent drowsiness can be linked to many traffic accidents. Additionally, the increasing obesity of Americans can be linked to overall decreased sleep quality. Any age group can experience sleep apnea, but those over 40 are at significantly higher risk. Approximately 26 percent of Americans between the ages of 30 and 70 are believed to have sleep apnea.
Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea
The effective treatment of sleep apnea can dramatically better the lives of millions of Americans while improving the management of chronic diseases. Scheduling an appointment with sleep apnea snoring dentist can get you the expert opinion you need to change your life for the better.
At Sleep Better Illinois, you can set up a free consultation with Dr Tim Stirneman and a host of experienced sleep coordinators to determine if sleep apnea is affecting your quality of life. With expert help and guidance, you can take an at-home sleep apnea test that will measure breathing and heart activity during the night.
With a positive diagnosis of sleep apnea, treatment can begin to help alleviate symptoms. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a physical blockage of the airway, usually caused by the collapse of the tongue and soft palate against the throat. If you’re found to have this type of sleep apnea, dental solutions may be essential in lessening the pain and dangerous symptoms of the condition. Dentists are the ideal professionals for OSA as they are able to take dental impressions, order custom mouthpieces, and monitor any changes that need to be made during treatment.
There are several effective options for those with loud, uncontrollable snoring or sleep apnea. Commonly, those affected use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This device opens blocked airways, pushing air into the throat and lungs. The CPAP involves a sleep apnea mask, a connecting tube, and the machine itself that moves the air.
The CPAP can improve overall sleep quality and decrease snoring. However, it can also cause dry mouth, congestion, pain in the chest and stomach, and sores or irritation on the nose. A year of using the CPAP device showed the complete reversal of the white matter brain damage that occurred due to sleep apnea, which had caused impaired cognition and reduced alertness.
With dental device options, the side effects can be minimized while assisting with a patient’s nighttime breathing. A dental device adjusts the jaw to maintain a narrow, open airway. A dental device can be used with a CPAP, making the treatments more effective together, or it can be used in lieu of the CPAP. Types of dental devices include the Mandibular Advancement Device (like a retainer) and the Tongue Stabilizing or Retaining Device (less common, but keeps the tongue out of the way).
With professional help, you can find the right treatment for your snoring or sleep apnea today. It’s essential to recognize and address low quality sleep issues as soon as they develop or are recognized to minimize future health risks and concerns. Visit the specialists at Sleep Better Illinois and take the sleep quiz to determine if you could use a free expert consultation today.