Sleep Apnea: Get the Help You Need

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which breathing stops temporarily while one sleeps. As a result of the interrupted sleep, people with sleep apnea struggle to stay away during the day, which leads to bigger health problems.

Treatment options for sleep apnea

Before we begin to talk about getting treatment for sleep apnea, it is important to know about the symptoms of the disorder, which include:

  • Fatigue during the day: Lack of sleep leads to fatigue, which affects one’s ability to function properly. Even if one stays in bed for eight hours, they will still be fatigued during the day because they did not get enough sleep.
  • Loud snoring while sleeping: One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is loud continuous snoring while sleeping.
  • Pauses in breathing: Breathing stops temporarily while sleeping because the airway is blocked. When the brain realizes the person is not breathing properly, it will briefly wake the person up so they can continue breathing.

These are the main sleep order symptoms, but there are other symptoms associated with the disorder, which include:

  • Headaches in the morning
  • Irritability and depression
  • Impotence
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom at night
  • Having a sore throat or dry mouth

Treating sleep apnea

Some of the treatment options available for people dealing with sleep apnea include:

Home remedies

This treatment option involves making changes to one’s lifestyle. Some of the changes recommended include:

  • Losing weight: People with weight problems have extra tissue in the back of their throats, which makes it easier for their airway to be blocked while they sleep. Losing weight has been effective in helping overweight people treat their sleep apnea.
  • Avoiding alcohol: Alcohol consumption, especially before going to bed, relaxes the muscles in the throat and interferes with breathing.
  • Avoiding cigarettes: Smoking can make sleep apnea worse because it increases inflammation and fluid retention in the throat and the upper airway.
  • Having a set bedtime: Having a sleep schedule makes it easier to relax and fall asleep because the mind and body will get used to the routine.

Professional treatment

If the home remedies do not work, it is time to see a professional about the problem. Some of the treatment options used to treat sleep apnea include:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines: These machines are used to treat moderate to severe sleep apnea. They deliver air pressure through a mask while the patient sleeps. The air pressure the CPAP machine generates is greater than the air pressure in the room and keeps the airway open, which prevents snoring and sleep apnea.
  • Oral appliances: They are considered an alternative to the CPAP machine for people that cannot sleep comfortably while using the machine. Oral appliances are designed to keep the throat open while the patient is sleeping by moving the jaw forward, which relieves the sleep apnea and reduces snoring.
  • Surgery: Surgery is usually not recommended unless other treatment options have failed or if the patient’s jaw has structural problems that need surgery to fix.

Conclusion

Having sleep apnea can be frustrating because it prevents you from getting a good night’s rest. If you have been diagnosed with the disorder, consult with your dentist to figure out which one of these treatment options is right for you. You can get the help that you need so that your sleep apnea is reduced or at least managed. 

Request an appointment here: https://www.drcharvet.com or call Charvet Dental Center at (504) 208-4751 for an appointment in our Metairie office.

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