Awake with Sleep Apnea

Fed up man blocking his ears from noiseWithout a proper night’s rest, the world can be an irritating place. Disorders such as sleep apnea can wreak havoc on patients with active lifestyles. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to combat the symptoms and effects of sleep apnea and gain control of your schedule. Our sleep apnea doctors are seasoned professionals dedicated to helping you fight the signs of this condition.

Sleep apnea is characterized as one or more pauses of the breath during sleep. There are three different types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea is when the throat muscles relax. Central involves complications with your brain sending signals to the muscles in charge of breathing. Complex, or mixed sleep apnea is a combination of the two. If you find that you have difficultly staying asleep, jolt up in the middle of the night, or are known to snore loudly, you may have sleep apnea. The good news is there are several treatments for this condition. Our doctors may recommend appliances to reposition the jaw, airway pressure symptoms or potentially surgery.

It is important to treat this condition to avoid any serious health side effects. Contact our doctor with any questions you have about sleep apnea or to set up an appointment.

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Why You Should Try a Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance

Gum Guard Perspective

Over eighteen million adult Americans today suffer from sleep apnea. Many of these people have simply decided to deal with this condition, which is a very unhealthy and even dangerous choice. It is important to know that there are many different ways that sleep apnea can be treated, some of which as very easy. One of these treatments is using a sleep apnea oral appliance.

We find that many patients do not like the idea of sleeping with an oral appliance in at night. We reassure everyone that these mouth guards are comfortable and cannot cause pain. In fact, most patients report that they are completely used to wearing it within just a few nights.

This may be the easiest way to eliminate the effects of sleep apnea. There are two main types of appliances. You might get a better night’s sleep with one that moves the lower jaw forward, or one that moves both the lower jaw and the tongue forward, in order to create more room in the air passageways.

Our dentist will work with our Northridge sleep apnea patients to find a treatment that works best for them. You don’t have to suffer from this disorder for life. Schedule an appointment with us today.

When is Snoring an Issue?

Woman annoyed by the snoring of her partner in her bed

It’s not entirely true that snoring is not normal. Stigmatized in society, snoring is associated with obesity and aging. In fact, while weight gain and the aging factors that act specifically on the throat muscles can lead to increased snoring, basically everyone snores at least occasionally. Causes range from alcohol consumption, to heavy allergies, to a sinus infection.

Besides the overweight and the elderly, groups notorious for snoring are those with enlarged tonsils or adenoids—this group includes children. Others may snore because they have a deviated septum, or nasal polyps.

Sufferers across the snoring spectrum do not always know how much they snore. You’re asleep, obviously, and if you sleep alone there are no witnesses. People who snore infrequently often realize it when their obstructed nasal passages wake them up. Otherwise, those who snore while in a deep sleep stay oblivious. It’s important for these people, especially, to keep up with their sleep education.

If you snore a lot, you may have sleep apnea. This is a condition in which altered airflow creates what is called an apneic event, or sleep interruption. Chronic sufferers may wake up dozens of times per night because they stopped breathing. This condition can become quite serious if left untreated. So if you’ve been told you snore, we advise you to contact our expert in sleep apnea in Thousand Oaks.

Options for Treating Sleep Apnea

Snoring man and young woman. Couple sleeping in bed.

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder with ties to even more serious ones, like diabetes and heart disease. You should see a doctor if you snore excessively, wake up multiple times per night, or experience daytime headaches or fatigue.

Once seen, you will be given a shortlist of options. The first one is typically a lifestyle change such as weight loss, as a high degree of sleep apnea sufferers are obese. Quitting smoking and/or drinking may also help.

The next step would probably be CPAP treatment. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, which is provided by a mask you wear while sleeping. The mask connects to a machine that prevents airways from closing, and lowers both nighttime and daytime blood pressure.

Refusal or failure of CPAP may lead to a sleep therapy system like Winx, which enlarges the upper airway while allowing you to change positions while asleep. The very obese may not qualify for this treatment.

Ask your doctor about palatal stiffening techniques like the Pillar procedure, which places little inserts into the soft palate to decrease its flutter. Beyond the Pillar procedure, there is the prospect of complex surgery. The most common of these are tracheostomies and tonsillectomies. Surgery is generally a last resort, after all other treatments have been exhausted.

Central Sleep Apnea and Its Symptoms

0433.jpgMany patients are not aware that there is more than one type of sleep apnea. Most suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the air pathways are partially or completely blocked during sleep. Central sleep apnea is much more complicated. In this case, the patient does not breathe while sleeping not because their airways are blocked, but because their brain does not send the command to the muscles.

Central sleep apnea is marked most obviously by the pausing of breath during sleep. This is usually notices by the sleeping partner of the patient, who might hear the lack of breath or gasping that comes after when the body wakes itself enough to breathe for a moment. Other symptoms include:

• Tiredness during waking hours
• Waking up often during the night
• Going to the bathroom often at night
• Poor memory and/or difficulty concentrating
• Morning headaches
• Unnaturally shifting or unpleasant moods

Fortunately, our Thousand Oaks sleep apnea expert employs several ways to reduce the inconvenient and often debilitating effects of CSA. CPAP, or positive airway pressure machines, are a commonly used device that supplies a constant stream of air into the system while you sleep. Talk to our expert to see if this treatment option could work for you.

About Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Snoring man and young woman. Couple sleeping in bed.

The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. This is caused when the throat muscles relax to the point where the walls of the airway block the air coming in and out of your lungs either partially or completely. While this is naturally corrected by your body waking you up, it is nevertheless a very serious condition that can have widespread implications for your health and productivity.

Obstructive sleep apnea can cause you to emerge from deep sleep from five to thirty times per hour. Although it is not entirely clear why we need to sleep and what happens to our bodies during it, it is abundantly clear that a full night of restful sleep is absolutely necessary. Moreover, the body goes through very distinct stages of sleep that all seem to serve different purposes. When we are aroused from sleep continually while going through these stages, we are unable to get the proper rest that our bodies desperately need. This lack of restful sleep can have widespread and concerning side effects on our health, mood, and productivity.

There are numerous ways to assist in addressing sleep apnea, including sleeping on your side rather than your back, using a mouth guard to keep your mouth and tongue in better positions, and changes to lifestyle, including the avoidance of alcohol before bed and weight loss. You should talk to our sleep apnea dentist in Glendale to learn more about ways to deal with this condition.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Woman annoyed by the snoring of her partner in her bed

Sleep apnea affects many Americans with repeated breathing interruptions that cause daytime fatigue and raise a host of health risks. A wide range of treatments are available to treat obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of the condition, and patients are increasingly choosing dental approaches. Here is a look at classic and contemporary sleep apnea treatment options.

CPAP

Short for continuous positive airway pressure, CPAP keeps the airway open during sleep by maintaining high air pressure there. Patients receiving CPAP wear a mask attached by hose to a bedside air pump. While CPAP works well for many patients, many others do not receive improvements or find it intolerable.

Dental Options

Dental treatment of sleep apnea can involve oral appliances or soft tissue surgery. With special oral appliances, the lower jaw and tongue can be prevented from collapsing backward and blocking the airway during sleep. Soft tissue surgery from our dentist in Northridge works by permanently widening the airway via removal of excess tissue there.

Untreated sleep apnea raises risks of not only deadly accidents but also heart disease, stroke and sudden cardiac death. With prompt treatment from our expert in sleep apnea treatment in Northridge, patients may prevent these complications and regain a high quality of life.