Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Do You Suffer From Fatigue?

Do you feel like you’re constantly exhausted, despite going to bed early? We all lead busy lives, but if you’re going to bed at a reasonable hour and still feeling fatigued throughout the day, you might be suffering from sleep apnea.

When a person without sleep apnea falls asleep, the muscles in their entire body relax, but the muscles in their throat remain contracted. For those suffering from sleep apnea, the muscles in their upper throat also relax, blocking the airflow and ultimately interrupting their sleep cycle. This disorder is prevalent, but it often goes overlooked by the sufferer because they may not be aware that they stop breathing throughout the night.

If you often feel fatigued, contact Dr. Stevens to check and see if you have sleep apnea. You’ll be provided with information on treatment options so you can start enjoying the effects of a restful night's sleep.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

In addition to feeling sleepy throughout the day, sleep apnea can present itself in many other ways. One of the most common and widely recognized symptoms is snoring. While snoring is certainly annoying for spouses and family members, chronic snoring represents a real problem that needs to be addressed. It’s important to remember that there are several other symptoms associated with sleep apnea and to watch out for:

  • Frequent sore or dry throat in the morning
  • Headaches when you wake up
  • Mood changes and irritability
  • Confusion or memory loss

Sleep apnea can have serious effects on your overall health and, when untreated, it can attribute to weight gain, high blood pressure, and an increased risk for conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Sleep apnea isn’t just affecting adults either; recent studies show that children who develop this sleep disorder have an increased risk of developing cognitive issues and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If you’re a parent and suspect your child is suffering from sleep apnea, don’t delay in scheduling an appointment with their primary care physician.

If you notice that you or someone in your family are showing signs of sleep apnea, it’s important to seek out advice from a medical professional. Dr. Stevens, certified by Sleep Group Solutions, will be able to diagnose the disorder after you complete a sleep study, and will give you therapy options based on the severity of your condition. Every sleep apnea patient is given a specialized treatment plan, so they can get restful sleep and improve their quality of life.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is considered to be a serious condition, as it prevents the patient from being able to breathe throughout the night. Not only do the interruptions in your breathing mean you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, the lack of oxygen increases the risk of sudden cardiac death.

This disorder is marked by extreme lethargy and difficulty concentrating throughout the day. Additionally, those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea have an increased risk of being involved in accidents both in the workplace and while driving.

Long term, obstructive sleep apnea could lead to complications with medications you’re taking or surgical procedures you undergo. This disorder will also increase your chances of developing:

  • A heart condition
  • Liver problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome

Treatment for Snoring

If you realize — or have been told — that you snore, don’t run to the drugstore to attempt to fix the problem. While nasal strips and sleep-aids may give you temporary relief, a long-term solution for snoring should be provided by a licensed professional so the issue can be resolved entirely and monitored. If snoring isn’t adequately treated quickly, symptoms can worsen over time.

Consuming alcohol before bedtime or regularly taking sleeping pills to get shut-eye can cause snoring because it relaxes the muscles in your throat. If you currently drink or take sleeping pills and snore, try abstaining from these substances to see if the snoring goes away. If it persists, contact Dr. Stevens to get a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan to prevent the snoring.

One of the least invasive solutions for snoring is a custom oral appliance, better known as a mouth guard. Dr. Stevens and his team will create a mouth guard designed specifically for you from the impressions of your teeth and soft tissues. The custom oral appliance opens your airways and keeps them open throughout the night, allowing you to get enough oxygen — and a better night’s sleep.

Importance of Seeking Treatment From Your Dentist

At your next dentist appointment, be sure to discuss your quality of sleep, and if you’re noticing a snoring problem. Based on the measurements of your soft palate and uvula, your dentist should be able to determine if sleep apnea is a concern and whether or not you would be a good candidate for a sleep study. After reviewing the results of the sleep study, Dr. Stevens will be able to give you a personalized treatment plan moving forward.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

After meeting with Dr. Stevens, he will discuss with you the best options to alleviate sleep apnea and improve your quality of life through restful sleep. While there are many devices out there designed to help you combat sleep apnea, it’s very important that you also make lifestyle adjustments, if needed. Small changes, like changing your sleeping position, and large changes, like losing weight if you’re overweight, and stopping drinking alcohol or taking over-the-counter sleep aid medicine can make a huge impact on alleviating sleep apnea.

Seeking out and listening to the treatment plan laid out by certified medical professionals is the best way to ensure you eliminate your sleep apnea. Often, when people think of treatments available for sleep apnea, an image of a CPAP machine may come to mind. While the use of CPAP machines is highly effective, it’s not necessarily the most comfortable or easiest option for patients to use in their nightly routine. A custom made oral appliance is practical and comfortable to wear at night.

Are you a good candidate for treatment?

If any of these warning signs sound like you, it’s a good idea to reach out to your medical care professional to receive proper treatment for sleep apnea:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches early in the morning
  • Loud snoring
  • Feeling irritable/sudden changes in your mood
  • Changes to your sleep: interrupted sleep, restless sleep
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Waking up with a sore or dry throat

Benefits Of Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea doesn’t need to hold you back from enjoying your life. After receiving treatment from Dr. Stevens, you’ll find relief from sleep apnea and soon recognize positive changes in your sleep patterns. You’ll enjoy being able to sleep soundly through the night and feeling energized and refreshed each morning instead of being tired and drowsy during the day.

Treating your sleep apnea will prevent you from developing disorders relating to complications that are associated with not getting enough sleep. Conditions like diabetes, depression, heart attacks, and heart disease can be prevented if you’re able to treat your sleep disorders.

Dr. Stevens and his team of dedicated professionals will find the best solution for your sleep apnea to fit with your lifestyle and needs. By wearing the oral appliance Dr. Stevens provides, you will still be able to comfortably talk, take medication, drink, and yawn as it is custom fit for your mouth. It’s essential to Dr. Stevens that you receive the best possible treatment plan that is minimally invasive, won’t impede on your life, and will still help you achieve restful sleep.

Treatment Timeline

When you step into the office for a consultation with Dr. Stevens, an impression of your mouth will be taken to a lab so your custom oral appliance can be created. In one to two short weeks, your custom made oral appliance will be ready for pickup at our office.

TAP® is a device that offers a much quicker solution and allows the sufferer to leave the same day with a solution to improve sleep that night.

Commit to Better Health Today

Sleep accounts for nearly one-third of the average person’s life. If the quality of your rest each night is deteriorating due to sleep apnea, it’s time to reach out for treatment. Dr. Stevens gives each of his patients a personalized plan of action for sleep apnea treatment so they can get the rest they need for a healthy life.

If you’re concerned about not getting enough rest, schedule an appointment with Dr. Stevens and find your solution for better sleep.