Know More About The Disorder, Sleep Apnea

Sleep disorders are becoming more common, and the treatments are improving. But, if you think you have sleep apnea, where do you start? How do you get diagnosed and treated?

Sleeping Disorder

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that can affect anyone–men, women, or children. Typically stereotyped as being a disorder for older males with thick necks and high BMI, sleep apnea is actually a silent sleep disorder that many don’t realize they suffer from.

Having sleep apnea means you intermittently stop breathing while sleeping. Your body will bring about consciousness to trigger you to breathe again, interrupting your sleep cycle. But this interruption may not be memorable for you. It can occur hundreds of times each night without your knowing. However, the effects of these interruptions will be noticeable.

You may wonder if you have sleep apnea if you display any of the following side effects: excessively tired during the day, never feeling fully rested, fatigue easily, dry mouth, sore throat, irritability, snoring, insomnia, or attention problems. In short, if you have been getting plenty of sleep but still feel excessively tired, you may have sleep apnea.

Degrees of Sleep Apnea

There are differing degrees to which a person can have sleep apnea, and these can change over time. You may suffer from very mild sleep apnea (5 or fewer events per hour) or very severe (more than 30 events per hour). If you gain weight, your condition may worsen. If you suffer from allergies, your condition may worsen. There are many factors that can influence sleep apnea over time.

If you wonder whether you have sleep apnea, you should be evaluated. Poor sleep quality is linked to depression, as well as a multitude of other diseases.

Diagnosis

The easiest place to start is with your general practitioner. Be sure to specifically mention you’d like to be evaluated for sleep apnea. They will send you to a specialist, either an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor or a sleep specialist. Regardless of the path, you will be scheduled for a sleep study.
A sleep study is not as intimidating as it sounds. You will sleep in an evaluation lab overnight. In order to collect data, electrodes and wires will be attached to different parts of your body. It may be awkward to try to sleep with this equipment on but it is not painful.

Having an evaluation in a sleep lab is the most reliable way to determine whether you have sleep apnea and to what degree. However, it is possible to do a take-home evaluation instead. The results are less accurate, but you get to sleep in your own bed and there are fewer wires and electrodes.

Treatment Options

Once your doctor receives your data, they will inform you of the results and discuss a treatment plan. It is best to familiarize yourself with the options before this appointment. Typically, there are three main treatment options: a dental device, a CPAP machine, or surgery.

Many people with mild or moderate sleep apnea benefit from a dental device. More severe cases of sleep apnea require a CPAP machine. Surgery is really only an option if you have an anatomical issue, such as a deviated septum or enlarged tonsils. Your doctor will help you decide which treatment is best.

When it comes to sleep apnea, deciding on your treatment is not the end of the process. You will need to check in with your doctor frequently to ensure treatment is successful. As stated previously, sleep apnea severity can change over time.

Sleep apnea can be challenging to diagnose because many sufferers don’t realize they have it. But, sleep apnea responds very well to treatment. It is worth your time to determine whether you have sleep apnea and to treat it.

Dental Device Treatment

To learn more about how the dental device might help you, contact Maiden Lane Dental located in the Financial District, NYC  to discuss your sleep apnea situation. Our staff is friendly and courteous and are happy to make you feel welcomed and comfortable. We can help to get your sleep apnea under control. Our patients come from all over the tri-state area, NY, NJ, Connecticut and beyond. We would love for you to be part of our happy patient list.