Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a health disorder that affects millions of Americans and is regarded as one of the most common sleep disorders. More often than not, a person is unaware that one is suffering from it. Do you or a loved one suffer from obstructive sleep apnea in Copperas Cove? Are you unsure whether you have Sleep Apnea? Our team of professionals will explain the symptoms and causes of obstructive sleep apnea. We also take a look at obstructive sleep apnea treatment to help you make the best decisions for your health.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax during sleep and restricts breathing. As you begin to drift toward sleep, the state of relaxation allows the soft palate, tongue, and throat to soften and close together.
At first, this causes your airway to get smaller, resulting in snoring and gasps, but as your body falls into a deeper sleep (REM), the structures seal completely, preventing you from taking a breath. This causes you to gasp for air, which disrupts your sleeping pattern and results in various other health complications discussed in this article.
Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?
Yes, sleep apnea is dangerous. Sleep apnea can also be fatal in some cases if left untreated. That is why it is so important to seek sleep apnea treatment in Copperas Cove.
Untreated obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of:
- High blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, sleep apnea can cause your condition to worsen. Waking up multiple times a night because of the lack of oxygen creates stress in a time that is meant for relaxation. If this occurs regularly, your body’s hormone systems go into overdrive which boosts your blood pressure levels. The oxygen level in your blood also drops when you can’t breathe naturally, which may further add to the problem.
- Heart disease. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you are more likely to have a heart attack than if you did not. This can be caused due to low oxygen circulation. Strokes and atrial fibrillation — a fast, fluttering heartbeat — are also linked with the condition. Obstructive sleep apnea disrupts how your body takes in oxygen, making it hard for your brain to control how blood flows in your arteries and the brain itself.
- Weight gain. Here you have a “catch 22” situation because extra pounds raise your chances of getting sleep apnea, and the condition also makes it harder to slim down.
- Loud snoring
- Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Shortness of breath
- Awakening with a dry mouth
- Morning headache
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Neck circumference. People with thicker necks tend to have narrower airways which contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. There’s not much you can do to combat this other than seeking sleep apnea treatment.
- Obesity. Being overweight dramatically increases the risk of sleep apnea for both men and women. Fat deposits around your upper airway can obstruct your breathing, contributing to the severity of your snoring and sleep apnea.
- A narrowed airway. You might have inherited a narrow throat. This is not your fault, but just how your body has evolved genetically. If this is the case, having a narrow airway could be a genetic feature contributing to your sleep apnea. Tonsils or adenoids also can enlarge and block the airway, but this is more common in children.
- Being male. Sorry guys! Men are 2-3 times more likely to have sleep apnea than are women. However, women increase their risk for sleep apnea if they’re overweight, and their risk also rises after menopause. This is why your age can also be a contributing factor.
- Being older. We have found that older patients are significantly more at risk of sleep apnea in Copperas Cove than younger patients. As you get older, the muscles in the back of your throat tend to lose their retention, which contributes to obstructive sleep apnea.
- Use of alcohol or sedatives. Substances that you use to relax the body either contribute to or worsens your sleep apnea. Remember, sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax during sleep and restricts breathing. These substances relax the muscles in your throat, which can worsen obstructive sleep apnea.
- Smoking. If you were wondering whether smoking causes sleep apnea, then you’re right! Smokers are two to three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than people who do not smoke. This is because smoking increases inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway, which causes sleep apnea.
- Nasal congestion. If you have difficulty breathing through your nose — you’re more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea. This is due to excessive mouth breathing that occurs if air can not pass through the nasal passages.
- Medical conditions. High blood pressure, congestive heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, and type 2 diabetes are some of the conditions that may also increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Hormonal disorders, chronic lung diseases such as asthma, and a prior stroke can also increase the risk of sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatments
So, how do you treat obstructive sleep apnea? Here’s what you need to know:
Treatment At Home
Unfortunately, there are not many home remedies that can treat sleep apnea effectively. There are, however, ways to prevent sleep apnea or decrease the potential of severe sleep apnea.
Home Treatments in Copperas Cove are:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity, specifically in the upper body, will increase the risk of airway obstruction. By maintaining a healthy weight, you will prevent obesity which also helps minimize the severity of your sleep apnea.
- Use a humidifier. Dry air can irritate the body and the respiratory system, which can cause nasal congestion. Humidifiers help add moisture to the air. Using a humidifier can help to open your airways and encourage clearer breathing.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking. This might not be an easy one, but it will make a difference. By avoiding alcohol and smoking, you will improve your overall health and decrease the severity of your sleep apnea. As explained before, alcohol will further relax the muscles in your throat, which is why people (especially men) often snore significantly louder after a night of drinking. By avoiding smoking, you will also prevent inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway which causes sleep apnea.
Treatment without CPAP
Although CPAP machines are effective, most patients request sleep apnea treatment without CPAP machines because of how uncomfortable they are. Many people find it difficult to relax or sleep with CPAP machines because they are either noisy, difficult to travel with, or simply too intrusive. CPAP masks can also feel somewhat confining and can evoke anxiety and claustrophobia.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition to have, and you should not let the fear of a CPAP keep you from diagnosis and treatment. How to treat sleep apnea without CPAP:
Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard
For patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, dental appliances or oral mandibular advancement devices can be used to prevent the tongue from blocking the throat and advance the lower jaw forward. These devices help keep the airway open during sleep.
If you can’t tolerate or haven’t been helped by CPAP, oral appliances such as a sleep apnea mouth guard may be an effective treatment option.
Benefits of a Mouth Guard
- Dental devices have been shown to control sleep apnea better long term.
- Offers another option for people who cannot tolerate CPAP
- Easy to travel with
- It will not cause claustrophobia as some experience with CPAP
- It works without electricity (Saves money)
- Custom Fit to Your Mouth
Treatment With the Solea® Laser
Here at Cove Family Dental, we understand how much Sleep Apnea can negatively affect you and your loved one’s lives, and a CPAP machine doesn’t work for everyone. That is why Dr. Grantham offers Solea Sleep Laser Therapy.
What Is Solea® Sleep Laser Therapy?
It is a non-surgical, quick, and comfortable laser treatment that can provide fast relief for some snorers. The treatment involves a low-energy laser to tighten and stiffen the soft palate. The tightening, therefore, reduces the vibrations that produce the sound of snoring. The treatment takes 5 to 15 minutes, and the results last for a year or more.
What Are The Benefits Of Solea® Sleep Laser Therapy?
Solea® Sleep Laser Therapy is a new and revolutionary laser snoring treatment. What is so remarkable about it?
- It requires no anesthetics or surgery
- It’s quick and effective
- The treatment has no downtime
- The procedure involves minimal discomfort
- Patients experience results for a year or longer
If you wish to improve your sleep health and that of your loved ones near you, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Sleep Apnea Treatment in Copperas Cove
If you’re looking for Sleep Apnea Treatment in Copperas Cove, then you’ve come to the right place. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you may be putting off a diagnosis or treatment because you don’t like the idea of the CPAP. It can be intimidating to think of being hooked up to a mask every night.
What you might not know is that sleep apnea is a medical problem that can have a dental solution!
That’s why Cove Family Dental can help you treat sleep apnea without CPAP. Oral Sleep Appliances such as a Sleep Apnea Mouth Guard allow mild to moderate apnea sufferers to have a good night’s sleep without a mask!
After you have had a sleep study (whether through a take-home kit or in a sleep clinic), your doctor/pulmonologist will review the possible treatments available for your situation. If he doesn’t mention an oral sleep appliance, ask whether it’s right for your particular type of apnea. Once you have a prescription for the device, Dr. Grantham can make one to fit you. It will align your jaw in such a way that it prevents the collapse of the soft tissue while you sleep.
Many of our patients see results the first night!
For your health and your loved one’s benefit, contact Cove Family Dental or visit our Sleep Apnea Treatment FAQ page to learn more about oral sleep appliance therapy in Copperas Cove.