Do you frequently wake up with headaches? Do you find yourself feeling exhausted during the afternoon? Have you been accused of snoring loudly during the night?
You may be suffering from a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea.
While these problems may not seem like a big deal, they're actually more serious than you think. Here are some of the signs and more information about sleep apnea from Hershey dentist, Dr. Wesley Davis.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder that occurs when your airway becomes obstructed during the night and cuts off your supply of oxygen. The lack of oxygen signals your brain to wake you up, and this can happen hundreds of times throughout the night, even though you may not realize it.
When you have sleep apnea, your body isn't able to get the rejuvenating rest that it needs, greatly affecting your quality of life.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
It's often difficult to figure out if you suffer from sleep apnea because many of the symptoms could be attributed to other health conditions. Here are few things to look for, however:
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing during the day
- Frequent headaches or migraines, especially in the morning
- Chronic fatigue
- Depression or anxiety
- Weight gain
- Snoring loudly and often during the night
Sleep apnea can be diagnosed through a sleep study, which measures how often you stop breathing and wake up throughout the night.
How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
The standard treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure therapy, which requires you to wear a mask hooked up to a machine while you sleep. The machine and mask deliver a steady stream of pressurized air, which helps keep your airways open. Many patients, however, find CPAP to be disruptive or uncomfortable. For some, the mask causes them to feel claustrophobic.
Dr. Wesley Davis offers alternative treatment for sleep apnea with customized oral appliances. For patients who suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea, this appliance may be able to replace CPAP therapy.
Oral appliances are custom designed for each patient and work by slightly repositioning your jaw, which opens your airway and allows you to breathe freely during the night. They're comfortable to wear and easy to get used to, providing great results for many patients with sleep apnea. Patients who suffer from severe sleep apnea may benefit from a combination of both CPAP therapy and an oral appliance.
Dr. Davis is happy to work alongside your physician to ensure that you're receiving the most effective treatment for your sleep apnea. If you're ready to reclaim your sleep, give our office a call today!