If you’ve been told you’re a loud snorer or you frequently awaken feeling tire and lethargic, then you may be suffering from sleep apnea. You’re not alone, though, as over 22 million Americans are currently living with the condition. To make matters worse, many of the cases go undiagnosed. Thankfully, when you visit us at Cornerstone Family Dental, either Dr. Crofoot or Dr. Snarr can help you recover so you can finally get the quality sleep you’ve been missing.
For people who suffer from sleep apnea, there are momentary lapses in breathing that can happen up to a hundred times while they sleep. The most common form of the condition is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which refers to a partial blockage of the airway that inhibits the flow of oxygen. This can be caused by weight gain that adds extra girth in the neck area, the tongue falling to the back of the mouth, excessive consumption of alcohol or other contributing factors.
As a result of the pause in breathing, the brain sends a distress signal that causes a stir. While this is an awesome built-in safety mechanism, it leaves you feeling unrefreshed the next day and devoid of the benefits that typically come from a night of sleep.
If you suspect you’re suffering from sleep apnea, then you should bring it to your primary care physician’s attention so you can undergo a sleep test. We’ll then review your results and work with you to formulate an adequate treatment protocol.
Sleep apnea can strike people of any age, as the condition is becoming more prevalent even among children. The populations with the highest risk factor of developing the condition, though, are men and women over the age of 40. As mentioned above, variables like weight gain and increased neck girth can play a significant role in limiting airflow. There are several lifestyle practices that impact your sleep, which include the usage of electronic devices before retiring for bed, eating late and enduring heightened stress.
There are several possible warning signs of sleep apnea that may go unnoticed for a lack of knowledge. So you won’t miss out on receiving the vital care you need, here are some of the more common symptoms to be cognizant of:
The most typical form of sleep apnea therapy is the CPAP machine, which includes three parts: a base unit, tube and mask. They work in tandem to force air into your throat while you sleep to prevent any lapses in breathing and to also allow for uninterrupted rest. While this is an effective form of therapy, it poses some challenges.
Many patients aren’t fond of the sound the unit makes while operating and its cumbersome design. At Cornerstone Family Dental, we offer an alternative that is quiet, small and more convenient: an oral appliance. Instead of forcing air into your throat, the comfortable custom-designed appliance gently repositions your jaw to allow for better oxygen flow.
Therefore, your recovery from sleep apnea can be smooth and comfortable. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Crofoot or Dr. Snarr, contact our office today!
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