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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you have sleep apnea, you may not remember these episodes of interrupted breathing, but they may disrupt your sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea, central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep.
Sleep apnea is usually a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you’ll often move out of deep sleep and into a light sleep. As a result, you’ll spend more time in light sleep and less time in deep sleep. You may not get enough deep sleep, which is when your body restores and rejuvenates itself. If you have sleep apnea, please order a home sleep test.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is distinguished from other types of sleep apnea by the frequent episodes of complete or partial blockage of airflow despite efforts to breathe. OSA occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep. This impairs your ability to breathe, causing pauses in your breathing (apneas). These apneas can range in duration from a few seconds to minutes and can happen hundreds of times per night.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If you have sleep apnea, you may not snore all the time, but snoring is the most common symptom of OSA. You may also:
- Gasp or choke during sleep
- Wake up with a headache or a dry mouth
- Wake up with a sore throat
- Feel very tired during the day
- Have trouble concentrating
- Fall asleep during the day
- Have mood swings or be more irritable
- Have trouble with memory
- Have trouble with sexual function
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Many factors contribute to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Obesity is the leading cause of OSA, as fatty tissue deposits around the neck and throat can block the airway. People with large necks are also more susceptible to the condition. Anatomical issues such as a deviated septum, large tonsils, or small jaw can cause or worsen OSA. Smoking is a major risk factor for the condition, leading to inflammation and narrowing of the airway. Alcohol abuse and sedative use can also cause OSA.
How is OSA Diagnosed?
How is OSA Diagnosed?
There are two main types of sleep studies: home sleep studies and in-lab sleep studies. Home sleep studies are less expensive and more convenient than in-lab sleep studies and are just as effective at diagnosing OSA. During a home sleep study, you will wear a small monitor that records data about your breathing, heart rate, and oxygen levels while you sleep. The data from the monitor will be used to diagnose OSA and determine the best treatment for you.
Do You Wake Up Feeling Tired? Ask Us About Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
Best Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
There are several obstructive sleep apnea treatment options, but oral appliance therapy is often considered the best treatment. Oral appliance therapy involves wearing a mouthguard-like device during sleep. The appliance helps keep your airway open so you can breathe properly during sleep. Oral appliance therapy is a safe and effective for obstructive sleep apnea treatment. It is comfortable to wear and easily adjusted to fit each person’s needs.
There are many benefits of oral appliance therapy over CPAP, including:
- Oral appliance therapy is less intrusive than CPAP. There are no tubes or machines to set up, and the mouthpiece is small and portable.
- Oral appliance therapy is more comfortable to wear than CPAP. Many people find it difficult to sleep with a CPAP mask on.
- Oral appliance therapy is less likely to cause side effects than CPAP. Side effects of CPAP include nosebleeds, headaches, and dry mouth.
- Oral appliance therapy is less expensive than CPAP.
- Oral appliance therapy is easier to travel with than CPAP machines.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment FAQs
If you have been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), your doctor may recommend oral appliance therapy as your first-line treatment. This means you will use a mouthguard-like device to keep your airway open while sleeping. Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and is usually well-tolerated by patients.
There are many possible signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Some people may snore loudly or make choking or gasping noises when they sleep. They may also have periods of breathing that stop and start during the night. Other possible obstructive sleep apnea symptoms include daytime sleepiness, irritability, moodiness, poor concentration, and forgetfulness.
There are many risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), including being overweight, having a large neck circumference, and having narrow airway passages. Other predisposing factors include smoking, alcohol use, and certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and acromegaly. Some people are more susceptible to OSA due to genetics, which is more common in men than women.
There are many different physiological effects of obstructive sleep apnea. OSA can cause high blood pressure, heart problems, such as arrhythmias and heart attacks, and strokes. Sleep apnea can also cause problems with memory and concentration and make it more difficult to pay attention. Finally, sleep apnea can cause fatigue and insomnia.
Schedule Your Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea Treatment is a group of state-of-the-art dental clinics specializing in sleep apnea treatments in Houston. If you have the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, please order a home sleep test that allows us to diagnose the condition without you having to visit a sleep clinic. If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, we may recommend custom-fit oral appliances to help you breathe comfortably at night. Please schedule a consultation to explore your sleep apnea treatments in Houston.