Over Twenty Million Americans Suffer from Sleep Apnea
Most of the patients who suffer from sleep apnea don’t even realize they have it. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs due to a blockage in the airway that causes the patient to stop breathing several times while they sleep each night. Many of our patients find relief from sleep apnea using our convenient dental appliances. They tell us our appliances are much easier to use than their CPAP machine. If you’re concerned that you
or someone you care about could be suffering from sleep apnea, call 636-625-1225 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Boscia today. He’ll make sure you get the correct diagnosis and the treatment that’s right for you.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Many people don’t realize they have a problem until snoring becomes an issue or they find they are extremely sleep deprived. Interrupted sleep can take its toll on your well-being and quality of life.
Some of the warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
Excessive daytime sleepiness
High Blood Pressure
Health Risks of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea causes significant oxygen deprivation and that’s hazardous to your health. In fact, it dramatically increases your chances of suffering from a life-threatening stroke or heart attack.
Not treating sleep apnea can lead to the following:
- Heart Attack
- Atrial Fibrillation (AFIB)
- Heart Failure
- Heart Disease
- Impaired Memory
Dental Devices--An Alternative to CPAP
CPAP is commonly prescribed to treat cases of severe sleep apnea. But many of our patients tell us that they’ve stopped using their CPAP machine altogether because it’s loud, restrictive, and difficult to use.
Dr. Boscia frequently treats sleep apnea using a dental device. This is a small device that the patient wears while sleeping to gently reposition the jaw, allowing the airway to remain open so you can breathe freely. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), it’s the first and best alternative to CPAP.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that stops a person’s breathing cycle while they sleep. Each night, a sleep apnea sufferer will have pauses in their breath due to an obstruction in their throat.
The frequent disruptions can happen from five to as many as 100 times per hour. When a person wakes up in the morning, they’ll feel extremely tired, but think they got a good night’s rest. Only a sleep study can determine whether or not they suffer from the condition.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Snoring is typically the first sign of sleep apnea, but not every snorer has a sleep disorder. If your snoring is also accompanied by any of these symptoms, you may suffer from sleep apnea and should receive a sleep study right away.
- Daytime drowsiness
- Gasping for air at night
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Frequent urination at night
How is sleep apnea treated?
Generally, sleep apnea is treated with a CPAP mask that works to continuously blow air through your nose and throat to clear the obstruction that’s interrupting your breathing. Due to its bulkiness and discomfort, sufferers stop using their CPAP mask which means they’re no longer receiving treatment.
As an alternative, we offer oral appliance therapy, which is a small, convenient, and comfortable mouthguard that’s worn every night. It helps move your jaw forward and opens up your airway so you can breathe properly during your sleep.
Dr. Boscia also offers holistic solutions to help alleviate your sleep apnea. These include:
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight
- Treat acid reflux, congestion, and coughs
- Adjust your sleeping position
- Avoid excessive alcohol, smoking, and the overuse of sedatives
- Take vitamins and minerals
- Herbal remedies
Surgery may also be a good treatment for people with severe cases of sleep apnea and for a more permanent solution.
What are the dangers of untreated sleep apnea?
Interrupted sleep can cause many different problems that affect your overall health, especially when left untreated. Health conditions that could arise due to untreated sleep apnea include:
- Heart disease
- Sexual dysfunction
- High blood pressure
- Kidney complications
- In some cases, fatality
Who’s at a higher risk for sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is typically seen in older adults and males. Younger people and women still can suffer from the sleep disorder, but it’s not as common.
Additionally, overweight and obese people, smokers, exessive alcohol drinkers, as well as someone with a family history of the condition, might be at a higher risk for sleep apnea too.