Your Guide to Sleep Apnea
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that impacts your ability to breathe overnight. This constantly interrupts your sleep, causing you to wake up repeatedly throughout the night and preventing you from getting the restorative rest you need to stay healthy.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, it’s crucial to seek treatment as soon as possible. Explore our informative guide to learn about the causes and symptoms of sleep apnea, as well as how we can treat it.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can lead to a wide range of symptoms that will affect your health in multiple ways. Some of these include:
- Loud, frequent snoring
- Gasping or choking sounds while you sleep
- Daytime fatigue/drowsiness
- Headaches, especially in the morning
- Lack of focus/short attention span
- Short-term memory loss
- Decreased libido
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to call Dr. Sahafi right away.
Risk Factors For Sleep Apnea
Years of research have shown us there are a few common risk factors for sleep apnea. It’s especially important to keep your eye out for symptoms if you fit into one of the following categories:
- More than 40 years old
- Large neck circumference
- Family history of sleep apnea
Treating Sleep Apnea
Before you can get treated for sleep apnea, we’ll need to confirm that you have the disorder. The best way to find out is by taking a sleep test, either in a facility or with a monitoring device at home, and reviewing the results with a qualified sleep doctor. Once you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. Sahafi can work on determining the best treatment solution for you.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine. This device pumps pressurized air into your lungs through a mask that’s worn over your nose, allowing you to breathe freely overnight.
Though they’re effective when used properly, CPAP machines are bulky and noisy, while the mask is uncomfortable to wear and forces you to sleep on your back. As a result, many patients stop using CPAP and don’t get the relief they need.
If you’re tired of your CPAP mask or want to avoid using one entirely, Dr. Sahafi can customize an oral appliance just for you. Worn while you sleep, this device gently shifts your lower jaw forward and keeps your tongue from collapsing into the airway, allowing it to remain unobstructed.
Unlike CPAP, oral appliances are comfortable, portable, and allow you to sleep in any position you like. You also won’t have to deal with a noisy machine or hooking and unhooking your mask every time you get up.
In combination with moderate changes to your lifestyle, such as eating healthier and exercising more, an oral appliance will eliminate your sleep apnea symptoms and help you sleep soundly through the night.
Visit Dover Dental For Sleep Apnea Treatment
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, don’t waste any time. Take a sleep test and get a diagnosis as soon as possible so Dr. Sahafi can begin your treatment. With oral appliance therapy, you can enjoy the benefits of a full night’s sleep without sacrificing your comfort.
Call our Newport Beach dental practice at 949-548-0966 to schedule your consultation today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sleep apnea dangerous?
Yes — without treatment, sleep apnea poses several potential risks to your overall health. Short-term symptoms include fatigue, trouble concentrating, headaches, memory issues, and more. All of these issues will impact your ability to function normally and can be deadly in certain situations, such as while driving your car or operating any machinery.
In addition to the symptoms above, sleep apnea has also been linked to long-term health consequences. These include heart disease, strokes, diabetes, liver problems, and more. In some cases, sleep apnea can even cause mental health issues such as chronic depression.
Does sleep apnea cause weight gain?
Sleep apnea and body weight are closely related. On the one hand, being overweight increases your risk for sleep apnea; on the other hand, having sleep apnea often causes you to gain weight. This results in a vicious cycle that can make it difficult to keep your weight or your sleep apnea symptoms under control.
To minimize your risk of sleep apnea, along with many other health issues, do your best to stay at a healthy body weight. If you already have sleep apnea, losing weight will help you manage your symptoms. During your consultation with Dr. Sahafi, she’ll give you tips on how to maintain a healthy diet and find enjoyable ways to exercise.
Will an oral appliance help my snoring if I don’t have sleep apnea?
Yes! Snoring can be caused by a wide variety of factors, many of which have nothing to do with sleep apnea. No matter the cause of your snoring, an oral appliance can help reduce it by keeping your airway unobstructed overnight. Thanks to these convenient devices, you and your partner can sleep soundly through the night.
Will insurance pay for my oral appliance?
In most cases, sleep apnea treatment is covered by your medical insurance. Oral appliances are typically categorized as medical equipment, so your provider should cover most or all of the cost. However, keep in mind that the amount of payment you receive can vary depending on the specifics of your plan.