August 16, 2017
It’s hard to function properly when you don’t get the sleep you need every night. People suffering from sleep apnea are running at a major deficit of REM (rapid eye movement, or what happens when you fall into deep sleep). It’s estimated there are as many as 22 million Americans currently dealing with the sleep breathing disorder. For relief, Dr. Jose A. Bushdid provides sleep apnea treatment in Coral Gables. Keep reading to learn more about the condition, including how to know if you have it and how it’s treated, then schedule an appointment with your Coral Gables dentist.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It occurs when the lower jaw and tongue become so relaxed during sleep that they collapse and block the proper flow of air from the lungs, through the throat, and to the brain. Snoring is likely to occur as a result of the restriction. People who have OSA may have their breathing interrupted hundreds of times during sleep — and over time, that adds up to a lot of lost oxygen to the brain. The effects of sleep apnea are significant.
Sleep Apnea’s Effects
Sleep apnea can take a real toll on an otherwise healthy body. Your body needs time to decompress at night — but if it is never really able to relax fully, your organs remain under stress. The effect is especially significant on the heart. People who have OSA are more likely to have high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and heart attack. In the worst cases, sleep apnea can lead to premature death.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea?
The symptoms of sleep apnea are often confused with those of other health conditions affecting sleep, like anxiety or depression. Educating yourself on the symptoms of OSA can help to ensure you receive the correct diagnosis and effective treatment from the start.
The symptoms of sleep apnea include…
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Tossing and turning through the night (observed by partner)
- Frequent waking during sleep (observed by partner)
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Waking with a sore throat or dry mouth
- Difficulty completing everyday tasks
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Many cases of sleep apnea are treatable with a removable oral appliance. It is a small, portable device that sort of resembles an athletic mouthguard. It works by repositioning the lower jaw and tongue, preventing their collapse to keep the airway free during sleep.
Oral appliance therapy often provides an effective alternative to the most common treatment for sleep apnea, which is CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure therapy. Many patients do not find relief with CPAP and either abandon treatment or continue dealing with exhaustion due to their interrupted sleep.
Where Can I Find Treatment?
Do you suspect you are dealing with the exhausting side effects of sleep apnea? Seek a diagnosis from your doctor first. If your general practitioner determines that you have sleep apnea, or if you already have a diagnosis but are struggling with your CPAP machine, know that relief is in sight when you visit Dr. Bushdid! Schedule an appointment to begin with sleep apnea treatment today.
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