How often are you tapped by your loved one from across the bed? “Honey, you’re snoring again!” Whether you know it or not, your snoring is affecting more than just your sleep, but your loved one’s as well! Is it possible that your snoring could be more than just an annoying sound?
Sleep apnea affects many patients of our Las Cruces, NM dentist office. We see patients each and every day who have no idea that they are suffering from sleep apnea while they rest. Unless someone is able to listen to you while you sleep, or you participate in a sleep study, there is no definite way to know that you have this concerning condition.
If you never seem to get enough sleep, wake up feeling as though you cannot breathe, or often have a headache when you wake from sleep, you could be having sleep apnea episodes. It’s important that you seek a diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea because it can lead to stroke, heart disease, or fatigue-related accidents.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea comes in two forms: central sleep apnea (CSA) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). By far, the most common form is OSA. It is the sleep apnea that we are able to treat quite effectively here in our office. CSA is a more serious (and rare) condition that should be treated by your general practitioner.
OSA means that your airway becomes obstructed while you sleep. The weight of your throat or tongue presses down on your windpipe to stop the flow of air, causing you to stop breathing while you sleep. Your brain works to wake you and pull you back to consciousness until you begin breathing once again.
This may happen a few times each night, or it may happen several times an hour! While your brain pulls you back to consciousness, it doesn’t necessarily wake you completely up. When you do wake up in the morning, you feel as though you have never really been asleep because your sleep has been interrupted all evening long!
The Trouble with CPAP
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, which means that the machine pushes air through your airway to help hold it open. There are some problems with this machine, though. Let’s take a look at those concerns below.
Loud – The CPAP is a machine. As such, it has a motor that can be distracting as you are trying to sleep. Your sleep may be affected by the volume of the motor, and your sleep partner may also find it difficult to sleep!
Uncomfortable – The CPAP requires you to wear a mask while you are sleeping. Many sleep apnea patients find it very difficult to get good rest while wearing this mask. Not only that, but it can be an embarrassing moment when you introduce your nightwear to your sleeping partner.
Not Used – Because of the issues listed above, many sleep apnea patients don’t use their CPAP machines at all. They sit in a closet or next to the bed, and the patient continues to suffer poor sleep and health.
Alternatives to CPAP
Luckily there are alternatives to the CPAP treatment option. You can begin by taking your sleep apnea into your own hands. Take strides to lose weight, change your sleeping position, and stop drinking or smoking. These small things will greatly improve your sleep apnea, but they may not be enough to end your sleeping problem. It’s time for you to give us a call to learn more about oral appliances.
A great alternative to the CPAP is an oral appliance. Rather than forcing air down your windpipe, the oral appliance pushes forward your lower jaw to hold your airway open while you sleep. This enables you to breathe comfortably throughout the night without having the wear a mask or listen to a loud machine!
Comfortable – Oral appliances are much more comfortable than a CPAP. Your jaw will move easily with the appliance, and there will be no embarrassment often associated with the CPAP mask!
Easy to Use – An oral appliance doesn’t require any special set up or conditions. It is easy to take with you when you travel, and all you need to do is slip it in your mouth before you go to sleep!
Effective – An oral appliance is incredibly effective against OSA. It keeps your tongue out of the way and enables your airway to stay wide open. You will see a dramatic improvement in your sleep apnea symptoms from the first night you wear it!
Learn More When You Call Today!
Are you ready to improve your sleep and overall health by treating your sleep apnea in a simple yet effective way? Contact our office today to set up an appointment or consultation. We would love to help you experience deep, refreshing sleep once again!