More than 20 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep apnea. Yet, an estimated 80 percent of people with this sleep disorder are not aware that they have it, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.
Sleep apnea is not just a problem for the person who has it. Most of the time, it also affects the family of the person with this condition.
If you have been told more than once that your snoring is a problem by your spouse or significant other, by your children, or anyone else, then you should contact Advanced Dental Associates.
At our San Antonio dentist office, we can help you arranges a sleep study and help you get the treatment that you need.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
The single most common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea is constant loud snoring. There is a physiological reason for this. When your airways are obstructed, it affects how you breathe. This can vibrate soft tissues, like your uvula, to create the annoying sounds that are keeping other people awake.
You may be thinking that lots of people snore. That is true, but most people don’t snore every night. If you are (and you should ask your family about this), then this is a good indication that you may have sleep apnea.
That said, here are some other common symptoms of sleep apnea:
- Frequent breathing stoppages when you are sleeping
- Waking up feeling like you are gasping or choking
- Waking up frequently during the night
- Feeling tired even after a night of sleep
- Frequent daytime sleepiness
- Feeling fatigued throughout the day
- Trouble concentrating on a specific task
Your family may be more aware of some of these symptoms than you are.
It’s important to have this conversation for the sake of your long-term health. People with sleep apnea have been proven to be at higher risk for heart, disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Sleep apnea can make it more difficult to control diabetes, and people with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to be involved in automotive accidents.
Start By Getting Tested
In order to confirm if you have sleep apnea, start by making an appointment with Advanced Dental Associates. You may want to bring your spouse or partner with you.
We will ask you a series of questions to determine if you may have sleep apnea. If this seems likely, we can refer you to a physician to conduct a sleep study. This study can help determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.
If you do have sleep apnea, then we can help with your treatment.
You may have heard of a CPAP machine. This is the standard treatment for people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea. When you have this condition, your airways become blocked while you are asleep.
The CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) pushes air into your airway through a mask that you wear while you are sleeping. This pressure allows you to breathe more easily at night.
This allows you to remain asleep for longer periods of time. This also should reduce your snoring, which will make it easier for your spouse or partner to sleep, too.
There are some drawbacks to using a CPAP. Many people have a hard time getting used to wearing a mask when they trying to fall or remain asleep.
Your mask may irritate your face or nose. It may feel uncomfortable. You may find that you take it off in your sleep without realizing you have done so.
This is where we can help. Oral appliances are an alternative treatment for OSA.
Like your CPAP, oral appliances are intended to keep your airways open so you can breathe more easily in your sleep.
Our appliances work by change the position of your jaw. Holding your jaw in a more forward position helps to keep your airways clear.
You will need some time to adjust to sleeping with a mouthpiece, but as it becomes more comfortable, you should notice that you feel more refreshed when you wake up in the morning.
Each oral appliance we make is designed for the patient who will use it. Your oral appliance should be created to give you the best possible results.
To take the first step toward treating your sleep apnea, contact our dentists if you live in or near San Antonio. Fill out our online appointment form or call us at 210-819-5233 to schedule your visit.