Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing multiple times at night. This forces your brain to wake you up long enough so you can start breathing again. The interesting thing is that although you are “waking up”, you may not realize it.

However, you will suffer from sleep disruption.

man laying in bed, snoring

Sleep Apnea: Two Different Types

There are two types of sleep apnea. One is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). As the most common form of this condition, your airways collapse. Therefore, your air supply is cut off. Over 85% of all sleep apnea cases fall under OSA.

The other form of sleep apnea is “central”. This occurs when your brain stops telling your body to breathe. Some patients can have both types of this condition.

Signs and Symptoms

Sadly, many people may have sleep apnea, but not realize it. There are plenty of signs and symptoms of this condition. These include:

  • Sleepy during the day.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Lack of drive, focus, or concentration.
  • Waking up tired, despite the amount of sleep you get.
  • Irritability or moodiness.
  • Sore or dry mouth when you wake up.
  • High blood pressure that doesn’t respond to doctor-prescribed medication.
  • Memory issues.
  • Weight gain.
  • The inability to lose weight.

Approximately 80 to 90% of people don’t know they have this condition. The good news is that there are treatment options once you receive a diagnosis.

Getting A Diagnosis

Before talking about treatments, you’ll need to determine if you have sleep apnea. Our Rochester Hills sleep dentist can help with a diagnosis of this illness. There’s only one way to determine whether you have sleep apnea. This is by participating in a sleep study. Back in the day, studies of this nature occurred in the lab. Now, a majority of insurance companies recommend the tests take place at home. Patients are far more at ease in the comfort of their own bed.

Treatment Options

A common sleep apnea treatment is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. It comes with a mask, pump, and hose to keep your airway open. This helps “force” air into your throat. In theory, it’s a very effective way to address this condition. However, it’s hard for many to adapt to. It can create an extremely uncomfortable sleep environment. It’s awkward for patients to fall asleep with so many things attached to them. What happens more often than not is that patients won’t use it every night. This essentially leaves their sleep apnea untreated.

If you aren’t going to use your treatment, then it can’t help you. With that said, you do have options.

Your sleep dentist in Rochester Hills can offer an alternative. Many OSA patients are now turning to oral appliances, these days. With this therapy, you wear the appliance each night. It resembles a mouthguard and is easy to adapt to. The oral appliance holds your jaw in a certain position. This helps to keep your airways open so you can breathe. This is a viable alternative, and often works as well as a CPAP.

Lastly, some patients also get surgery as an option. It’s important to note that there are risks around this. In addition, results can vary. Finally, sleep dentists don’t recommend this as a “standalone” treatment for this illness.

The Dangers Of Sleep Apnea

It’s very important to diagnose sleep apnea, so you can seek treatment. This can be a deadly condition when not addressed. In fact, those with the illness have a higher risk of dying. This is because there are a number of health issues and complications that can occur due to sleep apnea. Some include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Moodiness
  • Cancer

Until you address your sleep apnea these risks will persist. Once you do treat the condition, the above risks quickly decrease. Plus, in mere months you’ll see a significant improvement when it comes to your health and sleep.

Do You Suffer From Sleep Apnea in Rochester Hills, MI?

Do you feel tired in the morning, despite a long night’s sleep? Do you lack energy or want to take a nap during the day? If you see any of the above sleep apnea symptoms, it may be time to get some help. Your first step is to get tested. This is where Signature Dentistry of Rochester Hills can help!

Think you may have sleep apnea? Please call (248) 651-0897 today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Matthew Wolfe. He can help diagnose your OSA and provide you with an effective treatment plan.