Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing during sleep, sometimes many times during the night. People who suffer from sleep apnea may be unaware they stopped breathing. Some indications of sleep apnea include:
- Extremely loud snoring.
- Feeling excessively sleepy during the day.
- Waking up in the morning with dry mouth.
- Headaches when you wake up in the morning.
- Waking up during the night and feeling out of breath.
Because these indicators are common among people who do not suffer from this disorder, the only way to positively diagnose sleep apnea is to participate in a sleep study.
Sleep apnea can cause more serious health complications: high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, memory impairment, obesity, and headaches. Furthermore, an inability to sleep can cause difficulties with driving, mood, problem-solving, and much more.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
There are two overarching causes of sleep apnea. One, Central Sleep Apnea, occurs as the result of problems in the nervous system. The other is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which occurs when something is preventing the flow of air into the lungs. It is possible to have a combination of the two, which is referred to as Mixed Sleep Apnea.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
The most common treatment of sleep apnea is a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. You may have heard of a CPAP machine, which continuously supplies air through the night. The air is supplied through a mask worn during sleep. This treatment is effective, though some consider it uncomfortable and difficult to transport.
Most people are not even aware that there is an alternative: oral appliances. These oral appliances are designed to keep a sleeper’s airway from becoming obstructed in the night. Appliances are worn in the mouth, similar to a mouthguard. Oral appliances can be a good alternative to CPAP Machines for sleepers who find the mask disconcerting or uncomfortable. Oral appliances are also more convenient in terms of maintenance and travel.
Our staff knows how vital sleep is for you to carry out your daily responsibilities and enjoy your life, not to mention your continued health. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are interested in oral appliances, please contact our office. We will work with you to find the most comfortable method of managing this condition.