Obstructive sleep apnea makes it difficult to live your best life, but unfortunately, patients often struggle for years before discovering the source of their exhaustion. Sleep apnea triggers pauses in breathing that jolt the body out of deep, restful sleep, but most people are unaware of this happening. Treatment for sleep apnea is critical, but it must first be diagnosed, which requires an understanding of the symptoms.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
You may not know that you are snoring or having pauses in breathing while you sleep until your partner complains about it. Instead, it's more likely that you'll feel like you're gasping for air or choking when you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night. You'll also have a combination of the following sleep apnea symptoms:
- A sore throat upon waking
- Morning headaches
- Never feeling well-rested upon waking, despite 8 hours (or more) of sleep
- Exhaustion during the day
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression
- Trouble focusing at work or in school
We suggest a sleep analysis if you have any of these symptoms, which will determine if they are related to obstructive sleep apnea.
Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea
To function at our best, we all need at least eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep heals us physically and mentally, which is why you feel drowsy, irritable, and unfocused when you don't get enough of it. With untreated sleep apnea, your work performance can suffer, and you may even increase your risk of causing a car accident.
Obstructive sleep apnea will affect your overall health in the long run, leading to an elevated risk of cardiovascular problems, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Increased blood pressure and high cortisol levels in the blood have been attributed to sleep apnea.
CPAP Machine Sleep Apnea Treatment
When the soft tissues in the airway relax during sleep, they obstruct airflow and cause breathing to stop or become shallow. To prevent this from happening, sleep apnea treatments attempt to keep the airway open.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines blow steady air into the throat to keep the airway unobstructed. While CPAP therapy is effective, many patients find it unpleasant and cumbersome.
Silent Nite Sleep Appliance Treatment
A better solution may be oral appliance therapy, which repositions the lower jaw in such a way that the soft tissues in the airway are engaged, preventing them from relaxing and blocking airflow. For moderate sleep apnea, this is a viable alternative to CPAP therapy.
The Silent Nite Sleep Appliance treats sleep apnea along with snoring and sleep bruxism comfortably, quickly, and effectively without CPAP machines or invasive surgeries. It is made of a thin, flexible material that is custom-fitted to your mouth, making it more comfortable than other night guards. The system includes an AM aligner that aids patients in exercising and realigning the jaw after nighttime therapy.
Learn More about Sleep Apnea
Do you think you might have obstructive sleep apnea? Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but would like to find an alternative to CPAP therapy? Contact us today at 203-255-6878 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Miller of Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry in Fairfield, CT.