Sleep apnea is a sleep-related respiratory disorder that causes a person to stop and start breathing repeatedly while sleeping. Three forms of sleep apnea can occur:
- Obstructive sleep apnea — This is the most frequent kind of sleep apnea, characterized by the relaxation of the muscles and soft tissue towards the back of the throat. It obstructs the airway, making breathing difficult when sleeping.
- Central sleep apnea – Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to provide the required signals to the muscles that govern breathing.
- Complex sleep apnea – A person with complex sleep apnea has symptoms of both central and obstructive sleep apnea.
The following are the most prevalent symptoms of sleep apnea:
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Morning headaches due to gasping for breath during sleeping
- obnoxious snoring
- Irritability due to episodes of halted breathing during sleeping
- Sleepiness during the day
- Difficulty staying awake and paying attention
- Having a dry tongue when you wake up
If you detect any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, you should see a sleep expert very once. It is critical to diagnose this respiratory condition so that you can begin therapy to manage the symptoms.
Tests Available for Diagnosing Sleep Apnea
A skilled sleep specialist can do a battery of tests to determine the cause of your sleep disturbance. The specialist will ask you questions about your sleep history and the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Most people are unaware they have sleep apnea until a spouse complains about their loud snoring and stop-breathing episodes. Bringing your spouse to the examination is a smart idea. They may provide information that you are unaware of.
A sleep study is an important diagnostic tool for sleep apnea and other breathing issues. A sleep study can be performed at home or at your doctor’s office.
During the test, equipment attached to your body measures a variety of biological systems while you sleep, including:
- Movements of the legs and arms
- Oxygen levels in the blood
- Patterns of breathing
A sleep specialist can review the test data to see if you showed any indicators of sleep apnea. If you are diagnosed, you can begin therapy to moderate or relieve your symptoms and have a better night’s sleep.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea?
Oral appliance therapy is a prominent treatment option for people suffering from sleep apnea. To keep your airways open while sleeping, you can wear a custom-made gadget in your mouth. This permits the essential flow of air into your lungs, allowing you to breathe better and reducing sleep apnea attacks.
The following are four popular types of oral appliances:
- Dynaflex Dorsal – One of the most often used oral appliances for treating obstructive sleep apnea is the Dynaflex Dorsal. The comfy device is made up of two components and hardware that is designed to hold the jaw in a precise posture while sleeping. It helps to minimize snoring and allows for lateral jaw mobility.
- Respite Blue + – The Respite Blue+ is a unique oral appliance that uses a twin-block construction with interlocking wings to keep the airways open. The user may sleep in any posture while still being able to breathe easily.
- The Herbst Adjustable — This two-piece device has hinged mechanisms on both the bottom and topsides, as well as advancement screws. The screws allow for mandible titration and advancement.
- Elastic Mandibular Advancement (EMA) – The EMA is the smallest of the four devices. There are two separate trays made of a two-millimeter vacuum from plastic. The device’s straps may be adjusted in terms of flexibility and length, allowing for lateral jaw movement.
Sam Spence DDS Family Dentistry offers a variety of therapies to help our patients sleep better at night. If you have sleep apnea symptoms, please call us to schedule an appointment. We can do a sleep test to assess your breathing condition and provide a treatment plan that is unique to you.