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Sleep Apnea Therapy in Longview

tired man awake in bedAre you a chronic snorer? Do you frequently get up for work in the morning feeling even worse—more tired even—than when you originally laid down for bed? Given that around 22 million people in our country are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea -- with almost 80% of those cases remaining untreated -- the chances are high that you just might need sleep apnea therapy. 

As quickly mentioned above, snoring and sleep apnea is a general term for a sleep problem called obstructive sleep apnea. It’s characterized by successive stops in breathing while you rest, happening up to hundreds of times without you even realizing it. Obstructive is a common sleep apnea type, happening when the throat, neck and tongue muscles relax so much they block your airway, causing this serious health problem.

Sleep Apnea Statistics You Need to Know

tired man staring at the clockThe American Sleep Apnea Foundation estimates that…

  • 1 in 5 adults suffers from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • 1 in 15 of OSA cases are problematic (moderate to severe)
  • A small percentage (2-3%) of children have OSA
  • 9% of middle-aged women suffer from OSA
  • 25% of middle-aged men suffer from OSA
  • 10% of people 65+ suffer from OSA

What These Numbers Mean for You

heart health awareness graphicIf you have sleep apnea, getting treatment is of the utmost importance. Not only is your mood probably effected, interfering with your productivity and relationships, but sleep apnea poses serious health concerns. What’s scary, given these numbers, is that people who have OSA but never receive treatment are 4 times more likely to have a stroke and 3 times more likely to develop heart disease!

In fact, just about 40,000 annual cardiovascular deaths are related to sleep apnea. That means getting a diagnosis and treatment won’t just make you feel better overall, it could really save your life.

Treating Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea treatment can include a custom oral appliance created specially from your dentist. Why a dentist for sleep apnea therapy? Your local dental professional deeply understands the inner and outer workings of the head, neck, and throat, creating the best solution to address your sleeping disorder.

This small, personalized device works by repositioning your lower jaw, keeping the airway open while you sleep.

If you haven’t been feeling well rested or wake up with frequent dry mouth, you may have sleep apnea. Learn more by visiting your local dentist for help with diagnosis and treatment! After all, our office may be the only thing standing between a severe health concern like heart disease and a full night’s rest. Feel free to contact us today to schedule your next appointment with Dr. George R. Stoddard.

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Sleep Apnea FAQ

What is Sleep Apnea?

Couple cuddling in bedSleep apnea is a medical condition that causes sufferers to temporarily stop breathing during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea. One happens when the brain does not properly signal muscles that control breathing. This is called central sleep apnea. The other is obstructive sleep apnea, which is caused when muscle and tissue in the throat block your airway.

Is One Form More Common Than the Other?

Yes. Obstructive sleep apnea happens much more often. Men are more susceptible than women, but every now and then even a child can be diagnosed with OSA. Generally speaking, people that are overweight or frequently consume alcoholic beverages are more likely to develop sleep apnea.

What Symptoms Indicate Sleep Apnea?

The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. Why? Because tissues that are blocking your airway vibrate as you try to breathe. The vibration causes snoring, but this annoying sound does not necessarily indicate sleep apnea. Let your dentist in Longview evaluate your condition.

Other common signs and symptoms include:

Man snoring, wife blocking ears
  • A headache when you wake in the morning
  • Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
  • Frequently needing to urinate during the night
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability

Are There Other Risks with Sleep Apnea?

If sleep apnea only interrupted your sleep, then that would be trouble enough. But the condition has been linked to other serious health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and diabetes.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

sleep apnea oral applianceA CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine was long the only option for people with sleep apnea. While sleeping, users wear a mask over the nose and mouth that forces air into the airway. Unfortunately, the mask can be uncomfortable for some people, and traveling with a CPAP machine can be inconvenient.

Luckily, there is now an alternative. Many people find relief wearing a custom-fitted oral appliance that slightly shifts the lower jaw forward. This small movement keeps your tongue and the other soft tissue in your throat from falling back and blocking your airway. Most people find this device much more comfortable than a CPAP machine, so they are willing to wear it consistently.