Sleep apnea is a relatively common sleep disorder that may be defined as a pause in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed.
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when the throat muscles or oral tissues intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep.
- Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain does not send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. This causes breathing to stall due to a delay in communicating with the respiratory system.
- Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both OSA and CSA. While this form of sleep apnea is incredibly rare, it can occur.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to many health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also greatly impact the quality of life as the condition leads to daytime drowsiness, irritability, and fatigue.
There are many treatments for sleep apnea, including lifestyle changes and oral appliances. The best treatment for you will depend on the severity of your sleep apnea and the underlying cause of the condition. To ensure proper treatment, it is essential to visit a doctor or sleep lab to confirm a diagnosis.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, please consult with a doctor or sleep specialist prior to seeking treatment. Estimates suggest that roughly 23.5 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but remain undiagnosed and untreated. Sleep apnea can be fairly easy to treat once discovered, so it is important that you discuss any signs or symptoms with your physician. Once the condition is diagnosed, our Kinston, NC team will be ready to provide the best treatment for you!
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
There are several signs and symptoms that may be indicative of sleep apnea, including:
- Loud snoring
- Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
- Gasping or choking sensations during sleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- Restlessness during sleep
- Morning headaches
Several factors are responsible for sleep apnea, and some people are more at risk than others. Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea, as excess weight can lead to obstruction of the airway. People with a family history of sleep apnea or other respiratory disorders are also at increased risk. Other risk factors include smoking, alcohol use, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
If you have any of the above risk factors, you may be more likely to develop sleep apnea. However, it is important to remember that not everyone with risk factors will develop the condition; additionally, even if you do develop sleep apnea, there are treatments available that can help you manage the condition and get a restful night’s sleep.
Oral Appliance Therapy
One of the most successful and minimally invasive treatments available for sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy. This method uses a mouthpiece that is worn during sleep to keep the airway open. Oral appliance therapy is custom-fitted for each patient by our dental care providers. The appliance must be worn every night in order to be effective.
If you are interested in using oral appliance therapy to treat your sleep apnea, please schedule an appointment with our office. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you discover the best treatment option for your needs.
Put An End To Sleep Apnea
We understand how important it is to get a good night’s sleep, and we are here to help you get the treatment you need to finally have the sleep you deserve. Our team is skilled and knowledgeable in treating sleep apnea, so you can trust that you’re in good hands.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get the best possible treatment for your sleep apnea. Thank you for entrusting us with your care!