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Better Sleep With

Sleep Apnea Therapy

Can Sleep Apnea Therapy Help You?

Do you go to bed at a reasonable hour and sleep through the night, but still wake up exhausted? Sleep is an essential part of our mental and physical health – and when our sleep is consistently affected, our quality of life suffers. What could be causing your poor sleep quality? It may be sleep apnea, a condition that nearly 20 million Americans suffer from every night.

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What Is Sleep Apnea?

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Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing becomes completely blocked during the night. This can happen many times over the course of the evening and does not always wake a person up. This obstruction can be caused in two ways:

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. This condition occurs when the soft tissue in a person’s mouth and throat relaxes so much during sleep that it partially or completely blocks their airway.

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Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

Central Sleep Apnea, or CSA, is a neurologically based disorder. With CSA, a person’s breathing becomes cut off because their brain stops sending the correct signals to the body while sleeping.

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People can suffer from one kind of sleep apnea, or a combination of both. Some common symptoms are:

  • Constant fatigue 

  • Morning headaches

  • Waking up suddenly gasping or out of breath

  • Loud snoring

  • Insomnia

  • Chest pain at night

  • Depression

  • High blood pressure

The continual loss of oxygen is very stressful on the body, and over time, these symptoms can lead to serious consequences, as people with sleep apnea have a significantly higher risk of suffering heart attacks and strokes.

What Causes Sleep Apnea? Sleep apnea can affect many different kinds of people, but certain risk factors are common:

  • Excess weight

  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids

  • Being male

  • Being older

  • Family history

  • Use of alcohol or medication

  • Smoking

  • Nasal congestion

What You Can Do About It

If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, the first step to getting treatment is to partake in a sleep study. This is extremely important, as 80% of the people who suffer from sleep apnea are undiagnosed. Our doctor can refer you to a qualified local sleep doctor who can properly diagnose your sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, our doctor can then help you come up with an effective treatment plan. Treatment may include:

  • CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, a common sleep apnea breathing therapy device. CPAP machines continuously deliver pressurized air through tubing into a mask that you wear while you sleep. While a CPAP machine works well for many patients, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

  • Oral Appliance Therapy, or the use of a custom-made mouthguard while sleeping. These specialized mouthguards work by gently positioning the jaw forward, allowing the airway to remain open throughout the night. Oral appliances also have the added benefit of reducing snoring, and can even be paired with a CPAP machine for combined therapy. We can craft a custom night guard for you, which ensures optimal comfort, durability, and effectiveness.

Sleep apnea is rarely ever “cured,” so despite which treatment works best for you, you will need to be diligent about using it every single night. It is the only way to consistently help you sleep soundly and prevent the long-term effects of sleep apnea.