Obstructive sleep apnea: diagnosis and treatment
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA TREATMENT IN SAN CLEMENTE, ORANGE COUNTY, CA
Request an appointment:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a medical condition where you stop breathing during your sleep for periods of 10 seconds or longer. If you’re suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, you will experience multiple periods of non-breathing episodes throughout the entire night. This prevents you from getting the deep sleep that your body requires, leaving you tired throughout the day. Obstructive sleep apnea is categorized as mild, moderate or severe, depending on the intensity and frequency of your non-breathing episodes. Those suffering from severe OSA could experience as many a few hundred non-breathing episodes each and every night!
Obstructive sleep apnea is a very common and serious medical condition that requires proper diagnosis and treatment. It is estimated that more than 18 million Americans suffer from this type of sleep apnea. Unfortunately, many of these people are unaware of their condition. If you suspect that you may be suffering from OSA, give us a call today. You can schedule your sleep apnea screening by calling us at (949) 481-2540 or book your appointment online today.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that compromises your overall health. As mentioned above, obstructive sleep apnea causes repeated episodes of non-breathing throughout the night. These episodes of non-breathing cause you to wake up and gasp for air. As a result, you are left feeling tired and fatigued throughout the day. Here are some symptoms of OSA to watch out for:
- Feeling tired throughout the day
- Unexplained weight gain
- Frequent morning headaches
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Diminished productivity
- Generalized decrease in quality of life
Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can be a precursor to many other medical conditions. There are links between OSA and high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and depression. In its most extreme cases, severe OSA can be fatal. This happens if you fail to recover from an extended non-breathing episode. Let us know if you suspect that you’re suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Dentist can assist in screening as well as treating sleep apnea. Call us at (949) 481-2540 to see how we can help you concur your obstructive sleep apnea today.
Treatment of obstructive sleep apena depends on how severe your case is. Treatment options include using a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), using oral appliances or even airway surgery. Here is a bit more information about different treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea:
A CPAP machine forces Oxygen into your airways to make sure you are getting enough air at night times. The device secures onto your face and forcefully pushes air into your nostrils. Wearing a CPAP machine can be very effective in offsetting obstructive sleep apnea. In fact, CPAP machine is considered the golden standard for treating severe obstructive sleep apnea. Unfortunately, CPAP machines are loud, bulky and uncomfortable. As a result, many patients find themselves unable or unwilling to use their CPAP machine on a regular basis.
Oral appliances used to treat obstructive sleep apnea
This is where dentists come into play in treating your obstructive sleep apnea. Dentists make oral appliances as an alternative to CPAP to help you in opening up your airways. An oral appliance resembles a large athletic mouth guard, except it’s purpose if to open up your airways. Typically, oral appliances pull your lower jaw forward which opens up your airways and allows you to breath better throughout the night. While not as effective as CPAP machine, oral appliance are much less bulky and more comfortable to wear. Oral appliances are recommended for treating mild-to-moderate sleep apnea in those who are CPAP intolerant.
Surgery should be considered your last resort option to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Airway surgeries, like a Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), alters your airway to open up your breathing pathway. Airway surgery has mixed results and recovery is extremely painful. Surgery is only recommended for the most severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea where other treatments don’t work.
Dentists spend plenty of time looking in your mouth which gives them an excellent opportunity to screen for airway obstruction. Your dentist can help you with both screening and treating obstructive sleep apnea. Here are some of the ways your dentist can help you out:
Screening for obstructive sleep apnea
As part of your new patient exam we will perform an obstructive sleep apnea screening. We will look for signs of OSA such as obstructed airway, large tongue, low palate and tonsil blockage. If screening results show signs of obstructive sleep apnea, then we will perform a complete exam and have you fill out some questionnaires. If it appears that you may be suffering from OSA, we will make appropriate referral to perform definitive screening. Typically, the next step would be to schedule a sleep study test. The results of your sleep study test will be sent to a sleep-trained physician to determine conclusively if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea treatment
The worst cases of obstructive sleep apnea require wearing a CPAP or getting airway surgery. However, mild-to-moderate sleep apnea can be treated with oral appliances made by your dentist. Oral appliance therapy is also recommended for patients unable or unwilling to use a CPAP machine. Oral appliances typically function by re-positioning your tongue to open-up your airway path. This helps you breath more comfortably and get continuous sleep throughout the night. To learn more about screening or treating sleep apnea, give us a call today. Contact us at (949) 481-2540 or schedule your OSA consult online. We are conveniently located in San Clemente and offer sleep apnea screening and treatment to Orange County, CA.
Give us a call today if you suspect that you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. You can reach us at (949) 481-2540 or alternatively, book your consultation online. Our obstructive sleep apnea consultation typically takes about 45 minutes. During your consult, we will evaluate your airways, review your medical history and have you fill out a few questionnaires. If we determine that you might be suffering from OSA, we will then refer you for a sleep study test. The results of this test are sent to a sleep physician who will determine if you are suffering from OSA. We can also help you treat your sleep apnea by making you an oral appliance if needed. Don’t delay treatment your sleep apnea any longer, give us a call today, and start start breathing better!