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Sleep apnea is a serious condition in which a person frequently stops breathing throughout the night for 10 seconds or more. This causes disruptions in the sleep cycle, preventing a person from reaching the deeper, more restorative stages of sleep. It also places a lot of stress on the cardiovascular system. Moreover, it drastically reduces a person’s quality of life and heightens their risk for life-threatening issues ranging from diabetes, heart attack and stroke to vehicular accidents and more.
Many factors can contribute to sleep apnea. Some of them are genetic—a person with a larger than average tongue, neck, or big tonsils/adenoids can easily develop sleep apnea. Lifestyle also plays a big role. Being obese or overweight is a primary contributor, as excess fat on the neck places pressure on the airway during sleep, making it easy to become obstructed. On top of this, things like smoking and consuming alcohol within a few hours of bedtime make excessive snoring and sleep apnea more likely.
The most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
The only way to properly diagnose sleep apnea is with a sleep test. This may consist of a convenient take-home sleep test or involve spending a night in a sleep lab. Either way, the patient wears a device to bed that monitors their breathing, brain activity, heartbeat, and several other factors. Afterward, a certified sleep expert looks at the data to determine if the patient has the condition based on certain markers.
When an appliance is provided by an expert with extensive sleep experience, it can both improve a patient’s comfort and help them control their symptoms. Sleep apnea is often treated using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, which involves a patient wearing a mask that is connected to an air pump. This keeps the airway open by forcing oxygen into the throat. However, many patients find this to be uncomfortable, which is why oral appliance therapy is an attractive alternative.
Snoring can be a real downer, but not to worry! While it's true that not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, frequent snoring can increase the risk of developing this condition later. But there's good news! With our state-of-the-art oral appliances, we can treat both sleep apnea and snoring, helping you and your loved ones get the restful sleep you deserve. Don't let snoring bring you down or keep others up – contact us today and start sleeping soundly again!
Wearing an oral appliance while also using a CPAP machine can help patients who don’t get everything they need from either option on its own. Typically recommended for those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, it’s more comfortable than just using a CPAP because the appliance opens up the airway, meaning the machine can be put on a lower setting. This leads to less noise and better compliance, plus if a patient has to travel, they can simply take their appliance with them.
Do you struggle with sleep apnea? There are options available that can help. However, you may still have some unanswered questions, so we’re here to help. Here are the answers to schedule some of the most common questions we receive about sleep apnea in Glendale. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, don’t fret. Just give us a call and one of our friendly team members would be happy to assist you.
Having symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you definitely have sleep apnea. While Apple Watches and other technology can help, they don’t necessarily test for sleep apnea. It is important to obtain an official diagnosis and know which type you have before receiving treatment. A sleep test is necessary and needs to be obtained from a sleep apnea specialist.
Men tend to struggle with snoring and daytime fatigue. However, women’s symptoms look a little bit different. Women more often struggle with insomnia, depression, and other symptoms. Women who are pregnant, post-menopausal, or overweight are at higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.
Being overweight is a major risk factor for sleep apnea. Excessive weight and tissue can block the airway. By losing weight, some people can reduce the tissue in the airway. However, there is a chance that you could continue to have sleep apnea even after losing excess weight. You would need to complete another sleep test and examine your results.
Certain products, like essential oils or weighted blankets, can help you to relax. However, your oral appliance, CPAP therapy, or combined treatment will have the greatest impact on the quality of sleep you get. If you have sleep apnea, it is important to address the actual problem by opening up the airway through sleep apnea therapy.
Yes! About 1-8% of children have sleep apnea. However, children with sleep apnea can have different symptoms from adults. Some may experience bed-wetting, sleep terrors, attention or learning difficulties, inability or focus, or hyperactivity.
In order to be considered a sleep apnea episode, a pause in your breathing has to last at least 10 seconds. Of course, some pauses are longer than others; in fact, some may last up to 2 minutes. Considering this along with the fact that people can experience 5 to 30 sleep apnea episodes in a single hour, it’s easy to see how the disorder can have a devastating impact on your ability to get quality sleep.
The severity of a sleep apnea case is measured by how often episodes occur. In order to gather this information, a sleep test needs to be performed. The data provided by this test can be invaluable in determining the best way to treat the issue.
If you have been given an oral appliance to address your sleep apnea symptoms, you should make a point of cleaning it regularly to get rid of the bacteria that could increase your risk of cavities and gum disease. When it comes to oral appliance hygiene, make sure that you always follow these steps:
If you’re not sure that you’re taking proper care of your oral appliance, remember that you can always ask our team for advice.
You may be worried that unconscious teeth grinding could damage your oral appliance, but there’s generally no cause for concern. The materials used to make the appliance are durable enough to stand up to the forces of grinding. In fact, they can actually protect your teeth from the damage they might otherwise suffer as a result of bruxism.
Sleep apnea is a very serious threat to your overall health, so your health insurance will typically at least partially pay for diagnosis and treatment. (This often includes oral appliances, even if they’re provided by a dental expert.) Of course, the details of your plan can vary depending on what insurance carrier you have. Be sure to confirm your coverage before you take the first steps in having your sleep apnea professionally treated.
Sleep apnea tends to occur most often in men as well as post-menopausal and pregnant women. And of course, being overweight is considered a major risk factor for the disorder. Additionally, having an untreated tongue tie could potentially lead to sleep apnea. Of course, even if you don’t fall under any of these categories, you should still take note of any concerning symptoms that could indicate the presence of sleep-disordered breathing.
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