Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that robs you of your restful sleep, prevents sufficient oxygen flow to the brain, and may eventually lead to serious heart trouble -- or, in the most extreme cases, premature death. If you are living with chronic snoring, exhaustion, irritability, and the other side effects of poor sleep, consider getting checked out for sleep apnea. Once you have a diagnosis, that’s actually great news! It means relief is in sight. Your dentist in Marysville provides sleep apnea treatment at Darby Creek Dental.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is the repeated cessation of breath during sleep. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the lower jaw and tongue collapse into the back of the throat during sleep, partially or completely blocking the smooth flow of air.
Symptoms of OSA include:
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Frequent waking throughout the night
- Irritability, confusion, and daytime fatigue
- Waking with a sore throat or dry mouth
Without the oxygen it needs to survive, the brain sends out an emergency signal to wake the body up. People who live with OSA may have their sleep interrupted hundreds of times per night -- but they usually do not remember their night of fitful sleep the next morning. It is often a partner who recognizes the frequent waking and chronic snoring associated with OSA.
Effects of and Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
The effects of untreated sleep apnea are serious. Associated health conditions include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Depression and anxiety
- Premature death
Men are slightly more likely to develop sleep apnea than women, and the risk of developing the condition increases over age 55. OSA is more likely to occur in overweight or obese patients, or in those who have a large neck circumference.
As the rate of childhood obesity rises, so does the prevalence of OSA in children. If your child is overweight and also frequently sleepy, irritable, or is exhibiting behavior problems in school, it may be a good idea to consider having their sleep evaluated.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Marysville
The most popular method for treating sleep apnea is the CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure therapy. It is a machine that keeps the airway open during sleep by forcing air into the lungs throughout the night through a small facial mask. Unfortunately, many patients find the CPAP causes more of a disruption than the original problem. A sleeping partner may be especially bothered by the noise of CPAP.
People who have not found relief with CPAP therapy for sleep apnea (the “CPAP intolerant”) may find the help they need with removable oral device therapy, instead. With a small, portable mouthguard, the tongue and jaw are held in place. This prevents their collapse, helping you and your loved ones sleep without interruption.
Your doctor will evaluate your case and decide which treatment may be best for you. Sometimes, combined therapy -- both CPAP and removable oral device therapy -- is the most effective option.
Do you suspect you or a loved one are suffering from sleep apnea? Visit your general dentist for a diagnosis, then get in touch with your dentist for sleep apnea treatment. Schedule an appointment at Darby Creek Dental to discuss finding relief from your sleep breathing disorder today!