Have you ever woken up feeling more tired than when you went to bed? Does your partner complain about your loud snoring at night? If you answered yes to any of these, you could be suffering from sleep apnea. This condition affects millions of people worldwide, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems. At Personal Touch Dentistry in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, we help our patients with sleep apnea with various treatment options to help them sleep better at night. If you believe you may have sleep apnea, contact us today.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where the person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. These pauses in breathing can last for seconds to minutes and occur several times throughout the night. There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when the airway is blocked during sleep due to relaxed muscles in the throat and tongue.
Central Sleep Apnea: Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Although both types of sleep apnea have specific differences, it is vital to note that both can be dangerous if left untreated.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
The symptoms of sleep apnea can vary depending on the type of sleep apnea, but some common signs include:
- Loud snoring
- Observed pauses in breathing during sleep
- Gasping for air during sleep
- Morning headache
- Daytime fatigue
Other symptoms can include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Decreased libido
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, contacting Dr. Ron Logan at Personal Touch Dentistry for a proper diagnosis is essential.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy
CPAP therapy is the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea. It involves wearing a mask over the nose or mouth, which connects to a machine that delivers a constant stream of air to keep the airway open during sleep. The benefit of CPAP therapy is that it can reduce or eliminate snoring and improve sleep quality. CPAP therapy can improve cognitive function, mood, and energy levels during the day.
- Dental Devices
Dental devices designed for sleep apnea offer help to improve the quality of sleep. A dental appliance that can help to treat sleep apnea is mouthguards. Mouthguards are suitable to use as they help to reposition the tongue and jaw to keep the airway open. Dr. Ron Logan will recommend mouthguards for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. The benefits of dental devices are that they are non-invasive, easy to use and travel with, and can improve sleep quality and reduce snoring.
- Lifestyle Changes
Specific lifestyle changes can also help alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. These may include losing weight, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, and changing sleeping positions. Lifestyle changes can improve overall health and reduce the risk of more severe health problems like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat sleep apnea. Surgery is always the last resort, but we recommend surgery for severe cases of sleep apnea or when other treatments are ineffective. The benefits of surgery are that it can provide a permanent solution to sleep apnea and may improve overall health and quality of life.
- Positional Therapy
Positional therapy involves training a person to sleep in a position that keeps the airway open. Training may include sleeping on the side or using a special pillow to elevate the head and neck. The benefits of positional therapy are that it is non-invasive and can improve sleep quality and reduce snoring.
Sleep Apnea in Winston-Salem, NC
Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder that affects many people worldwide. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, seeing a doctor for a proper diagnosis is essential. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent serious health complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. With the right treatment, you can enjoy a good night’s sleep and improve your quality of life.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Logan at Personal Touch Dentistry today!