Sleep Apnea Treatment
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Are you a loud snorer? Do you often feel fatigued or moody during the day? If so, you could be suffering from sleep apnea, a dangerous sleep disorder that’s been linked to strokes, hypertension, and other serious health issues.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects about 22 million Americans. It occurs due to an obstruction in the airway that causes the patient to stop breathing several times each night while sleeping. OSA results in a severe reduction in your blood oxygen level, impairing physical and mental functions.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms and Risk Factors
In order to determine if you’re suffering from sleep apnea, it’s important to know about the symptoms of this serious medical condition.
You may be suffering from sleep apnea if you:
- Often wake up during the night
- Frequently gasp for air during sleep
- Snore loudly at night
- Suffer from impaired memory or reduced intellectual function
- Experience pauses in breathing while sleeping
- Feel tired, restless, or irritable during the day
OSA is caused by tissue that blocks the patient’s airway. A number of factors increase your risk for sleep apnea, including genetics, obesity, and the circumference of your neck. OSA can also be exasperated by smoking, drugs, and alcohol abuse.
The Health Consequences of Untreated OSA
By depriving your body of oxygen, untreated sleep apnea increases your vulnerability to a number of health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
- Acid reflex
- Type 2 diabetes
- Premature death
The Downside of CPAP Therapy
CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. A CPAP machine effectively treats sleep apnea by forcing a steady flow of air into a mask that the patient wears over their face while they sleep. This ensures that you’ll breathe consistently throughout the night.
Unfortunately, many patients find CPAP to be difficult to use because it’s loud, inconvenient, and it forces you to sleep on your back. Every time you have to get up during the night, it’s necessary to unhook and then reattach your CPAP machine. For these reasons, many patients stop using CPAP altogether.
Dr. Gioia offers a variety of treatment options for sleep apnea, as alternatives to CPAP therapy, so we can meet your particular needs. For example, he has special training in providing sleep appliance therapy for sleep apnea patients. Dr. Gioia is also certified by Medicare to provide sleep apnea care.
Sleep Appliance Therapy
Several of our patients have found relief using an alternative type of therapy known as an oral appliance. This sophisticated device keeps your airway open by gently repositioning your jaw while you sleep. It’s quiet, convenient, and easy to use.
Additional treatment options for sleep apnea include mouth and throat exercises. Positional therapy is another common sleep apnea treatment. It prevents the patient from sleeping on their back, which is the position where snoring and sleep apnea are most likely to occur.
Getting the Relief You Need
Dr. Gioia is an experienced sleep dentist — he’ll make sure you get the right treatment for your sleep apnea. It’s time to wake up every morning feeling refreshed and ready to face the day. Call (602) 864-1984 to learn more today.