Do you consistently feel tired during the day DESPITE sleeping throughout the night? Does your partner complain about your loud snoring? Do you suffer from depression, mood swings, or have trouble focusing? If so, you very likely could be suffering from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a very serious disorder where a person temporarily stops breathing for short periods time throughout the night, preventing them from getting the deep, restful sleep they need. This is most often caused by the soft tissues in the mouth and throat relaxing into and blocking the airway. Left untreated, sleep apnea can make a person consistently exhausted and even raise their blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Fortunately, relief from this condition can be found right here at Ellicott City Smiles. Using a simple, custom-made oral appliance, Dr. Blum can help you sleep soundly through the night and wake up in the morning full of energy again. Want to know more? Contact our office today to learn how we can help you get the rest you deserve.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. It is most often diagnosed in adults, especially those 50 years of age and older, but anyone at any age can suffer from this disorder. It occurs when the sleeper stops breathing for ten or more seconds at a time. Most people experience a few incidents of apnea or hypopnea, shallow breathing or cessation of breathing for less than ten seconds at a time, but those who suffer from sleep apnea can have 100s or even 1000s of apnea and hypopnea events each night.
There are two types of sleep apnea that are related to the causes of breathing cessation. The first is central sleep apnea. It occurs when the brain fails to trigger the body to breathe in and out at night. This is a much less common type of sleep apnea, and when patients are diagnosed with this form of apnea, it’s essential that they seek adequate treatment from a medical professional and/or a surgeon right away.
Obstructive sleep apnea is much more common. As the name suggests, it occurs because the airway is physically obstructed during sleep. In addition to preventing breathing, sleep apnea also causes patients to repeatedly wake up during the night. This leads to sleep deprivation and daytime exhaustion. In order to restart breathing, the body triggers a panic response that elevates blood pressure, which can be very dangerous and adversely affect health.
Sleep apnea is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due in large part to the seemingly unrelated warning signs of this sleep disorder. You should consider letting our team or a sleep doctor know right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of sleep apnea:
Many patients think that CPAP is the only treatment option they have for sleep apnea. However, for obstructive sleep apnea sufferers, our team may offer a viable alternative using custom crafted oral appliances. These appliances shift the jaw forward in order to place pressure on the throat. This pressure keeps the airway clear of obstruction and allows patients to sleep and breathe deeply through the night. Oral appliances are a great option for patients who travel frequently and don’t want to transport a large CPAP system and those who are CPAP intolerant. We can also combine oral appliances and CPAP to improve the efficacy of both treatment methods.