Sleep apnea has been in the news in recent weeks, after the condition “led to tired engineers and two train crashes” in New York and New Jersey. It’s certainly a problem faced by transportation professionals, but the truth is that millions of Americans are living with unmanaged obstructive sleep apnea that puts them at increased risk of traffic-related and work-related accidents.
Obstructive sleep apnea is marked by repeated interruptions to your breathing at night, which results in low quality sleep and fatigue that follows you into the daytime. Of course, when you’re not getting the sleep you need, your focus and productivity suffer.
Luckily, it’s easy to diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnea to keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy. At 1st In Smiles, we believe that quality sleep is integral to your overall wellness. When it comes to alleviating your sleep apnea symptoms, we partner with a trusted sleep specialist to provide an accurate diagnosis. Then, we’ll work together to find a solution that’s comfortable and effective.
Read on for more information about how we treat obstructive sleep apnea in Plano, TX. Then, give our compassionate team a call at 972-380-8105 to schedule a consultation.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea 101
Obstructive sleep apnea can be exhausting. Those who suffer from it experience sleep apnea “episodes” in which partial or complete blockages of the airway occur throughout the night. This happens when your tongue or tissue at the back of the throat collapse in and obstruct breathing, and it can result in some familiar sleep apnea symptoms.
- Excessive snoring that wakes you or your partner
- Periodically waking up feeling as though you’re choking or gasping for air
- Frequent interruptions to sleep
- Dry mouth or sore throat
- Morning headaches
- Irritability or fatigue during the day
The condition can also have serious health consequences if left untreated. Interruptions to your breathing throughout the night cause a release of adrenaline. When this happens repeatedly, it can lead to high blood pressure — which puts you at an increased risk of stroke and heart failure.
The First Step to a Better Night’s Rest
Sleep apnea is generally easy to treat, but before we start recommending solutions to the problem, we’ll have you see a sleep specialist for an accurate diagnosis. This will ensure we’re treating the right condition in the first place.
Our trusted sleep specialist will review your medical history and ask you some questions about your symptoms. Then, the specialist will likely prescribe a sleep study. Technicians will collect data on your vital signs, breathing patterns, movements, and more while you sleep. This data will be reviewed by the sleep specialist, who will then administer a diagnosis.
Your Treatment Options
For many cases of obstructive sleep apnea, symptoms can be effectively alleviated with a simple dental device that looks like an athletic mouthguard. You’ll simply wear it while you sleep, and it slightly adjusts the positioning of your jaw to prevent airway blockages.
However, in more complex cases especially, the ideal solution is sometimes a CPAP — or continuous positive airway pressure — device. This machine consists of a mask worn under the nose or over the mouth, which connects to a pump via a tube. The pump pushes air into the nasal cavity to keep the airway open.
The team at 1st In Smiles can also suggest some lifestyle modifications that can make your treatment more effective or in some cases be enough to eliminate undesired symptoms.
- Weight loss
- Regular exercise
- Cutting back on alcohol and tobacco consumption
- Allergy medications
- Change of sleep position
Snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea, but just because you snore doesn’t mean you necessarily suffer from sleep apnea. Still, excessive snoring — caused by sleep apnea or not — can be a serious problem. You might be able to sleep through the thunderous snoring, but it could be preventing your partner from getting the sleep they need!
In these instances, our custom-made dental devices can be a lifesaver (and relationship saver)! Just as these appliances and lifestyle changes can relieve symptoms of sleep apnea, they can also be effective at relieving excessive snoring.
Get a Better Night’s Rest
Don’t let sleep apnea or excessive snoring rob you of quality rest or cause trouble in paradise. Call 1st In Smiles at 972-380-8105 today to remedy problematic nighttime breathing! You can also use our online form to request an appointment.