You go to bed early, yet you feel tired or foggy throughout the day. Your bedmate complains of constant snoring. You wake up gasping for air, or feeling as if you are choking. If any of these symptoms sounds familiar, you may be suffering from a common sleep disorder called sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but many people are undiagnosed and therefore do not get the treatment they need. Fortunately, once a diagnosis has been made, effective treatments are available from your dentist. Dr. Brett Silverman and the team at Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry offer effective solutions for sleep apnea sufferers in the Alpharetta, Ga. area.
Facts on Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the sufferer stops breathing for several seconds during sleep. This forces the brain to “wake up” enough to force breathing, which prevents the sufferer from remaining in a deep, restful sleep.
Symptoms of sleep apnea may include heavy snoring, waking up in the middle of the night, choking in one’s sleep, and feeling tired or drowsy during the day.
There are three different types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type, occurs when the airway becomes blocked. Often, this blockage is due to the collapse of tissue at the back of the throat.
Sleep apnea prevents sufferers from getting quality sleep. Because they are not well-rested, they are at risk for falling asleep at the wheel. In addition, people who do not get treatment for their sleep apnea are at risk for several health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and depression.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Sleep apnea is diagnosed with a sleep study. Once a patient has been diagnosed, Dr. Silverman can provide an effective solution.
A CPAP machine, used during sleep, provides continuous airflow to prevent the tissues at the back of the throat from collapsing.
A custom-created dental appliance can help keep the airway open through the night.
Some patients may benefit from undergoing surgery to remove extraneous tissue causing the airway blockage.
Dr. Silverman works with each patient until a successful solution is found. If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea-like symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment right away. With the right treatment, you can get the quality sleep you need.