If you suffer from constant fatigue or if you have been told that you snore, know that you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from the effects of snoring and sleep apnea. At Alaska Center for Dentistry in Wasilla, AK, Dr. Sage Jr., Dr. Oudin, and Dr. Self are here to help alleviate your symptoms using advanced sleep apnea treatments and technologies!
What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea?
Most people with sleep apnea:
- Snore heavily
- Stop breathing periodically while they are still asleep
- Struggle to breathe while asleep with no snoring sound
These periods of stopped breathing are often followed by a gasping or choking sound. Sleep apnea sufferers typically partially awaken in order to breathe, leading to fragmented sleep patterns.
Sleep apnea can be measured by the number of times you stop or reduce your breathing every hour. Together, these events are counted and referred to as the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI).
A sleep study can measure your AHI as well as the drop in your blood-oxygen levels to help determine if you are suffering from this serious condition.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
There are two different types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). Both are considered to be sleep breathing disorders.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This condition indicates that the soft tissue at the back of your throat is collapsing while you sleep, blocking your airway. This is the most common type of sleep apnea.
Central Sleep Apnea
This type of sleep apnea is caused by instability in your respiratory control center. Essentially, your brain fails to send the signal to your lungs that you need to breathe fully while sleeping.
Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
Doctors estimate that 9.1% of men and 4% of women have sleep apnea in the United States alone. If you are diagnosed with this condition, it can mean you’re at a higher risk for:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Worsening ADHD
Not getting enough restful sleep can also take a toll on your personal and professional life, leaving you groggy and tired throughout the day.
What Treatments Are Available For Sleep Apnea?
Before we begin your sleep apnea treatment, we will refer to you to a specialist who will screen you for sleep apnea during a sleep study. If you are diagnosed with OSA or CSA, we will then treat you for your condition.
There are several treatment options for those suffering from sleep apnea. At Alaska Center for Dentistry, we offer:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
A CPAP machine is the most common treatment for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. The CPAP machine has a small air blower connected to a cushioned plastic mask that covers your nose. The blower forces air through a flexible hose into the mask to help keep your airways open while you sleep.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Not everyone is an ideal candidate for a CPAP machine. That’s why our doctors also prescribe oral appliances to help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea.
An oral appliance is similar to a retainer or mouth guard and slightly advances the lower jaw or tongue, which can better open your airway during sleep. This type of device can improve your breathing and reduce snoring. Everyone’s mouth is different, so at Alaska Center for Dentistry, we provide customized oral appliances for each patient.
Schedule Your Consultation With Our Sleep Apnea Doctors Today!
Sleep is vital to your health and quality of life. If you’re concerned you or your loved one suffers from sleep apnea, give us a call.