Sleep Apnea Treatment in Copperas Cove, TX

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder where your breathing repeatedly stops and restarts again throughout the night. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and feel fatigued after a full night’s rest.

To learn more about this sleep disorder and our quality sleep apnea treatment in Copperas Cove, TX, please schedule an appointment with us to speak to Dr. Grantham about any questions you may have. We will happily assist you!

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea presents itself in three forms – obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction of the airways in the throat, while central sleep apnea is a neuromuscular condition caused by a delay in the brain’s signal to breathe properly. 

Complex sleep apnea occurs if you have both obstructive and central sleep apnea. The most common symptom for all three types of sleep apnea is excessive and loud snoring.

patient with sleep apnea disorder

What Are the Types of Sleep Apnea?

There are three types of sleep apnea disorders:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Central sleep apnea
  • Complex sleep apnea

What Are the Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

Sometimes the signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas overlap, making it difficult to determine which type you have. The most common symptoms and signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during the night
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air while asleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headaches
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. When your muscles relax, your airway closes or narrows as you breathe in. Because you can’t get enough air, the oxygen in your blood begins to drop. Your brain realizes you can’t breathe, which briefly wakes you from sleep so you can reopen your airway. Usually, you won’t remember waking up to this.

You may experience choking, snorting, or gasping, and this pattern can repeat itself five to over 30 times an hour, all night, which halts your ability to reach a deep, restful phase of sleep. 

Central sleep apnea 

This less common form of sleep apnea happens when your brain fails to transmit signals to your muscles that help you breathe. Therefore you make no effort to breathe for a short period. You may wake up with shortness of breath, have difficulty falling asleep, or get the rest you need.

Complex sleep apnea

Complex sleep apnea is a combination of both central and obstructive sleep apnea. In this case, repeated apneas persist when obstructive apnea is extinguished with positive airway pressure, where there is not a clear cause for central apneas.

What Are the Sleep Apnea Risk Factors?

Sleep apnea can affect adults and children alike, but certain factors such as age and gender may increase your risk:

Risk Factors for Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

  • Neck circumference
  • Excess weight
  • A narrowed airway
  • Being older
  • Being male
  • Family history
  • Use of alcohol, tranquilizers, or sedatives
  • Smoking
  • Medical conditions
  • Nasal congestion

Risk Factors for Central Sleep Apnea:

  • Being male
  • Being older
  • Heart disorders
  • Stroke
  • Narcotic pain medications

How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Dr. Grantham will need to evaluate your breathing and other bodily functions while sleeping. This evaluation involves overnight monitoring at a sleep clinic. Home sleep testing is also an option. Tests to detect whether you have sleep apnea include the following:

Home sleep tests: Dr. Grantham may provide you with simplified tests to be used at home. These tests measure your blood oxygen level, heart rate, breathing patterns, and airflow.

Nocturnal polysomnography: During this test, you’ll wear equipment that monitors your lung, heart, and brain activity, arm and leg movements, breathing patterns, and oxygen levels while asleep. 

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, Dr. Grantham might refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to rule out any blockages. An evaluation by a cardiologist or neurologist may sometimes be necessary to look for the causes of central sleep apnea. 

Is Sleep Apnea Dangerous?

Sleep apnea can become dangerous if left untreated as it increases your risk of high blood pressure and hypertension. It might also increase your risk of recurrent heart attacks, abnormal heartbeats, and strokes.

If you think you have sleep apnea, call our dental office today and set up an appointment with Dr. Grantham. We will happily assist you!

What Sleep Apnea Treatments Are Available?

If you have a mild case of sleep apnea, Dr. Grantham may recommend lifestyle changes such as weight loss, quitting smoking, and allergy treatment.

If your symptoms don’t improve, several other treatments are available:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
  • Other airway pressure devices
  • Oral appliances like a mouth guard
  • Supplement oxygen
  • Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV)
  • Treatment for associated medical issues

Does Insurance Cover Sleep Apnea Treatments?

CPAP therapy is the most common sleep apnea treatment in the USA. Because it’s so universal, it’s generally covered by most health insurance providers.

Copayments, deductibles, and the amount of coverage you have may vary by provider and state.

Start Your Smile Journey Today in Copperas Cove, TX

a couple waking up smiling after a good night's rest since they had sleep apnea treatment in Copperas Cove

If you want to learn more about our high-quality, affordable sleep apnea treatment, give us a call or schedule a consultation today! Our friendly staff will happily assist you. 

We look forward to meeting you and starting your smile journey together!