Snoring isn’t just a nuisance. It can be a red flag for a serious condition called sleep apnea. The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that 22 million people in the US have sleep apnea, but that a whopping 80% of those cases remain undiagnosed.
Unfortunately, untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, including an increased risk of high blood pressure and other heart problems. The good news is that sleep apnea is treatable 一 and we offer treatment here at Ardsley Dental Spa in Ardsley, New York.
In this article, Dr. Hinna Chaudhry explains what sleep apnea is and how it can be treated.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which your breathing intermittently pauses and restarts. There are three types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when obstructions (like excess throat tissue) block your airway temporarily.
Central sleep apnea
Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain isn’t sending the right signals to keep you breathing while you sleep.
Complex sleep apnea syndrome
Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of the other two types of sleep apnea.
You might suspect you have sleep apnea if you snore intensely, wake up throughout the night gasping for breath, or get up in the morning with a headache and dry mouth. If your sleep quality is poor night after night, you may also notice increased irritability and daytime sleepiness.
Why sleep apnea is so dangerous
A lack of sleep can make a tremendous impact on your quality of life. Chronic fatigue can impact your work performance, affect your safety (e.g., driving while tired), and interfere with your relationships.
Sleep apnea and the stress it places on your body can increase your blood pressure and your risk of heart attack, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Every time your breathing pauses, your body responds by increasing your blood pressure in an attempt to get oxygen-rich blood where it needs to go as fast as possible. Over time, the increased blood pressure can increase your risk of heart problems, including heart attacks.
Your body also releases more of the stress hormone during this time.
How is sleep apnea treated?
One of the main treatments for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The device delivers air at a specific pressure to keep your airways open.
Unfortunately, CPAP masks can be loud, uncomfortable, and inconvenient — they require frequent cleaning and maintenance. They can help, but they’re not right for everyone with sleep apnea.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you might instead benefit from an oral device. Oral devices treat sleep apnea by keeping your jaw positioned so that your airway stays open.
Dr. Chaudhry 一 who’s trained to diagnose and treat sleep apnea 一 uses ProSomnus® oral appliances. Oral sleep appliances provide many benefits, including:
- Not reliant on power outlets, so perfect for travel
- Comfortable to wear
- Easier breathing without masks, hoses, or forced air
Treating sleep apnea can help you feel more rested, avoid the dangers of living in a chronically sleep-deprived state, and prevent the heart health complications that result from sleep apnea.
Don’t let untreated sleep apnea keep you from getting the rest you deserve. To learn more about sleep apnea treatment and to find out if an oral device is right for you, call us at 914-348-9815. You can also request your visit online today.