People who get a full night’s sleep every single night don’t have to deal with exhaustion, irritability, and chronic snoring. If you have these and other symptoms of poor sleep, you could be suffering from sleep apnea. It’s a condition that affects nearly 18 million Americans, and its treatment can prevent the occurrence of other serious health problems, like heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, and even premature death. The Drs. Boyd provide sleep apnea therapy with a removable oral appliance.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea. The most common is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs due to the partial or complete blockage of the airway during the night. The tongue and lower jaw of OSA sufferers become so relaxed that they collapse into the throat, halting breathing and oxygen flow to the brain. Occurring less often is central sleep apnea, in which the brain does not communicate to the muscles controlling breath. Mixed sleep apnea, the least common type, is a combination of OSA and central sleep apnea.
Recognizing Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The symptoms of OSA are similar to those of other conditions affecting sleep, like anxiety or depression. For this reason, a sleep breathing disorder may remain mis- or undiagnosed for years. The signs you or a loved one are dealing with sleep apnea include…
- Chronic, disruptive snoring (loud enough to wake a sleeping partner)
- Frequent waking throughout the night
- Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
- Daytime exhaustion or fatigue
- Irritability, confusion, or difficulty completing everyday tasks
Often, it is the partner of the sleep apnea sufferer who recognizes a problem. A person who snores loudly and wakes up many times may not remember by the time morning comes — but their partner usually remembers the night of restless sleep all too well.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Therapy for sleep apnea begins by having the quality of your sleep evaluated in a sleep clinic. At the sleep clinic, you will be connected to devices that monitor your breath, pulse, rapid eye movement, and more. If you are uncomfortable visiting a sleep clinic, an at-home sleep test may be possible in some cases. The Drs. Boyd are able to refer you to highly qualified specialists that are dedicated to sleep medicine and can work with your primary care physician.
If the results from your sleep test indicate that you are suffering from sleep apnea, visit the Drs. Boyd for treatment for your sleep breathing disorder. We treat obstructive sleep apnea with a custom oral appliance. It’s a comfortable, effective alternative to the standard CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, machine. The CPAP is hooked up to a face mask to force the airway open throughout the night by forcing air into the throat. Unfortunately, approximately half of patients dealing with sleep apnea do not find relief with the CPAP. These CPAP intolerant patients find the machine to be a noisy, uncomfortable method that interrupts their sleep as much or more as the original symptoms.
With the removable oral device, people with mild to moderate sleep apnea and those who are CPAP intolerant can find relief from their disruptive sleep. The Drs. Boyd create the custom device to reposition the jaw and tongue during sleep, preventing their collapse and allowing for the smooth flow of air throughout the night.
Do you need help regaining your eight hours of sleep every night? If so, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Drs. Boyd. Schedule an appointment today!