Did you know that an estimated 70 million adults in America have some form of sleep disorder? And of those, around 20 million suffer from sleep apnea. If you are struggling to get a quality night of rest, you may be suffering from the condition as well. At our Bartlesville, OK practice, our professionals offer appliances designed to relieve sleep apnea symptoms and ensure you can get the quality sleep you need to feel your best.
To learn more about sleep apnea, its symptoms, and its treatment, read on. If you believe you have the condition, schedule a visit with your doctor and arrange a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis; from there, we can begin working towards your treatment.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the night. This can happen dozens, even hundreds, of times each night and can result in poor quality of sleep. As a result, people with sleep apnea often wake up feeling tired, even if they believe they slept for eight hours or more.
There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea.
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep. This can cause snoring and disrupt the sleep cycle.
- Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing. This can cause periods of shallow or paused breathing during sleep.
- Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both OSA and CSA.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Waking up gasping for air
- Waking up with a headache
- Daytime fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry throat
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor to find out if you have sleep apnea. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
Some of the most common risk factors for sleep apnea include being overweight, having a large neck circumference, smoking, drinking alcohol, and having a family history of the condition. Other risk factors include chronic nasal congestion, deviated septum, and enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Men are more at risk for sleep apnea than women, and the condition becomes more common with age.
Oral Appliance Therapy
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, we invite you to contact our office and inquire about oral appliance therapy as a treatment option. Oral appliance therapy involves wearing a mouthpiece while you sleep. The mouthpiece is small, comfortable, and designed to slightly reposition your tongue and lower jaw to keep your airway open.
Oral appliance therapy is a safe, effective, and non-invasive treatment option for sleep apnea. It is FDA-approved and has been proven to be an effective treatment in clinical studies. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many insurance plans and is a much more comfortable and convenient option than CPAP therapy.
If you are interested in oral appliance therapy, please call our office and schedule an appointment.
If you are seeking a solution to eliminate sleep apnea without invasive treatments, oral appliances, or CPAP machines, NightLase may be the treatment for you! NightLase is a laser-based treatment that uses your body’s natural healing process to strengthen and tighten the tissues in your throat. This leads to a reduction in snoring and wider airway passages.
NightLase is FDA-cleared, painless, and only requires three 20-minute sessions over the course of two weeks. The treatment works by utilizing heat energy to stimulate collagen production in the deep layers of your skin. This results in the tightening and firming of your throat tissues, which leads to a reduction in sleep apnea symptoms. Not only is NightLase effective, but it is also convenient and comfortable for patients. The entire process is non-invasive and does not require any numbing agents or anesthesia.