Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects about 18 million people of all ages throughout the US. It involves repeated breathing interruptions during sleep that may occur hundreds of times each night as a result of structural abnormalities or brain malfunctions.
While sleep apnea carries the risk of many serious complications, fortunately, most cases can be effectively diagnosed and treated.
There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common form of this disorder, and involves a blocked or collapsed airway during sleep that may result in breathing abnormalities. Central sleep apnea is less common and involves a malfunction in which the brain doesn’t send the proper signals to control breathing during sleep.
Patients with sleep apnea may experience:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headaches
Many of these symptoms may not even be noticed by the patient, and may instead be pointed out by a partner or doctor. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, weight gain and other serious conditions.
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
If sleep apnea is suspected, your doctor can confirm a diagnosis through an evaluation of your symptoms and overnight testing. Testing may include nocturnal polysomnography or a portable monitoring device to be used at home while you sleep.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
There are many different treatment options available for sleep apnea, depending on the patient’s individual condition. Our dentists take the time to fully evaluate each patient and determine the most appropriate treatment option.
Many patients experience significant results from Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, adjustable airway pressure devices or oral appliances, all of which can be used while sleeping.
More severe cases may require surgery to effectively treat sleep apnea, which aims to remove the excess tissue from the nose or throat. This can be done through a number of different procedures performed in the office.
Call us today to learn more about our professional and effective services for sleep apnea so you can finally get the rest you need!
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Please Call Us at (516) 565-6565.