Do you often find that you wake up tired in the morning despite having plenty of sleep? Have you ever been told that you snore? You may be suffering from a condition known as sleep apnea which can increase your risks for diabetes, obesity, hypertension and heart failure. According to the National Institute of Health (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea/):
Sleep apnea (AP-ne-ah) is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you’ll often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep. As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Do I have this condition?
A proper diagnosis can only be made after a professional sleep study has been performed. As a service to our patients, we offer at home sleep apnea studies. The sleep study is performed by attaching a special monitoring device to you while you sleep. This device is then returned to the office where we upload its findings to a professional sleep study clinic. The clinic analyzes your findings and provides us with a detailed report.
How do I treat it?
Luckily there are a couple of treatment modalities for treating sleep apnea. For severe sleep apnea sufferers, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the treatment of choice and is administered by a sleep specialist. If you, however, have a diagnosis of mild to moderate sleep apnea, we may be able to help you by fabricating special dental appliances designed to maintain your airway while you sleep. In many cases we may even be able to bill your medical insurance directly for your treatment! Contact us to learn more.