Sleep is one of the most important things we can do. We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, so it’s crucial to figure out ways to get a better night’s sleep. There are millions of Americans who struggle with sleep apnea. These people wake up with nagging headaches, experience sleepiness throughout the day, and even have attention issues throughout the day.
At Oregon City Family Dentistry, we have ways to diagnose your sleep apnea issues and set up a treatment that is comfortable and effective. Today we have a special blog for you about the symptoms of sleep apnea and treatments. You’ll know who’s at a greater risk and what you can do to resolve sleep issues.
What are the Major Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. That means that your airway is literally begin obstructive during sleep. Sleep apnea can be hard to pinpoint because the symptoms vary. You might be told by your bed partner that you snore like a bear. That’s a big sign of sleep apnea, but there is so much more to it than that. It’s also not as obvious as a tooth ache. Patients with sleep apnea issues often experience:
• Loud snoring (but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea)
• Morning headaches
• Waking up multiple times a night gasping for air
• Daytime fatigue
• Problems focusing throughout the day
Fatigue and attention problems are particularly dangerous. Sometimes patients with untreated sleep apnea sleep for eight or 10 hours a night and are still tired. That’s because they wake up several times a night struggling to breathe. In some cases, patients with untreated sleep apnea have even fallen asleep at work or even behind the wheel of a car. Our office is trained to identify your sleep apnea issue, and we’ll set up treatment that will get you sleeping better.
How to Resolve Your Sleep Issues
Years ago, dentists would resolve your sleep apnea issues with a CPAP machine. This machine constantly pushes air into your airways, eliminating the risk of dangerous pauses in breathing. The CPAP machine is a great solution, but the problem is that the CPAP machine is cumbersome. In fact, studies show that CPAP appliances have just a 50 percent compliance rate. Of course, the sleep apnea machine is only effective when worn. A 50 percent compliance rate is not great. That’s why we dentists have begun using different methods to treat your sleep apnea and snoring issues.
If you have signs of sleep apnea, we’ll work with your general practitioner to set up a sleep study. We can then create a sleep apnea appliance that you’ll wear overnight. The appliance moves your lower jaw forward which then allows the airways to stay open while you sleep. Our patients say they get use to the appliance within a few nights.
If any of the sleep apnea problems we mentioned today sound familiar to your situation, call our office today at 503-917-0523.
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