Do you consistently wake up with chronic headaches? Do you feel that no matter how long you sleep, you are still tired all the time? Does your partner consistently complain about your snoring? All of these things could indicate sleep apnea. This sleep disorder can have serious health-related consequences if left untreated. At National Dental in New York, we work with our patients to determine the cause of their sleep apnea, and then design a personalized treatment plan to address their needs.
About Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common condition that causes breathing to cease during sleep – sometimes for as long as 90 seconds at a time. This lack of oxygen can wreak havoc on your overall health, leading to problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart conditions, depression, diabetes, ADHD, and headaches. In addition to these serious concerns, sleep apnea can also wake you several times during the night. Even if you do not remember waking up, this lack of quality sleep can cause chronic fatigue, irritability, and exhaustion during your waking hours. There are two primary types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The most common form of this disorder, obstructive sleep apnea is triggered by a blockage of the airway. This typically occurs when the soft tissues near the airway collapse over it.
- Central Sleep Apnea: Less common, central sleep apnea is caused by a lack of communication between the brain and the breathing muscles.
Common Signs and Symptoms
Sleep apnea can present in a number of ways, and each individual may experience different symptoms. Some of the most common signs indicating sleep apnea include:
- Severe snoring
- Gasping for air upon waking
- Significant lack of energy
- Sore throat upon waking
- Drowsiness while driving
- Mood changes
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice immediately. At National Dental, we have an onsite sleep medicine specialist who can diagnose your condition and determine an appropriate treatment plan.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
In many cases, proper diagnosis of sleep apnea requires a sleep study. During this process, your body’s physical responses are measured during sleep to determine if your symptoms are the result of sleep apnea or perhaps another type of sleep disorder.
Treating Sleep Apnea
One of the most common treatments for sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP. While this type of therapy is effective, most patients find these devices to be cumbersome and uncomfortable. At National Dental, a custom oral appliance can be fabricated as an alternative to the CPAP machine. This device is designed to fit comfortably over your teeth and move your lower jaw into a more favorable position. In many cases, when the jaw is moved forward, it prevents the soft tissues from falling over the airway. Many of our patients have found incredible relief with our custom appliances and prefer them over CPAP therapy. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, this simple solution could be all you need for an improved quality of life.
Learn More about Sleep Apnea Treatments in New York
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, a consultation with one of our doctors can have you well on your way to a peaceful night’s rest. Contact us online or call us at (516) 535-0544.