You wake up in your chair and look up at your co-worker’s concerned face. This is the third time today that they’ve spotted you napping at your desk. You don’t have a good excuse because you don’t have an excuse at all. You went to bed at a reasonable hour, but when you woke up, it felt like you had been up all night. What could be causing this? This is actually a common symptom of sleep apnea, a condition that affects about 18 million Americans every night. Dr. Richard Fossum wants you to know a little more about sleep apnea in Temple, as well as what can be done about it.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition where a patient’s airway becomes obstructed while they are sleeping by the soft tissue in their mouth and throat. This can completely block the airway, and can happen many times over the course of the night. This does not always wake a person up, so many people are completely unaware that they have sleep apnea. They just notice that no matter how much they sleep, they never feel rested. Some other common symptoms are:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up gasping or out of breath
- Morning headaches
- High blood pressure
The effects of this condition go way beyond simply being exhausted. This oxygen deprivation is very stressful on the body, and people with sleep apnea have been shown to have a higher risk of suffering strokes and heart attacks. If you or your loved ones are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to take action.
What You Can Do
Nearly 90% of people with sleep apnea go undiagnosed, so the first step to figure out if you have it or not. You can take this quiz, and it will give Dr. Fossum a clear indication if you have sleep apnea or not. If you do, he can help treat it as well.
Common treatments for sleep apnea include surgery or a CPAP machine, but many patients prefer a less invasive approach. The CPAP machine usually requires a patient to wear a full face-mask, but this can often be uncomfortable, so your dentist in Temple can provide you with a much smaller nasal mask.
Another approach is oral appliance therapy. This would involve you wearing a small device, similar to a mouthguard, to bed every night. It would help alleviate sleep apnea by gently shifting your jaw forward, preventing the soft tissue of your mouth and throat from relaxing into your airway. Each oral appliance is custom made for every patient out of strong and flexible materials. This assures a comfortable fit, and allows a patient to speak and drink normally while wearing one. Oral appliances have proven very effective, as 95% of people who regularly use one have seen a noticeable improvement in their sleep quality.
Want To Know More?
Sleep apnea can dramatically affect a person’s quality of life and seriously endanger their health. If you keep waking up exhausted, take our quiz today so we can start helping you rest better.
Want to know more about sleep apnea and what you can do about it? Just call us today and we’ll be more than happy to answer all of your questions.