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Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Millions of people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea but are unaware they have the condition. The three main warning signs of sleep apnea are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Frequently waking, gasping for air
  • Extreme tiredness during the day – even after a full night of sleep

Not everyone who snores needs to visit a sleep specialist but if your spouse has observed you gasping and choking during sleep and your snoring is loud enough to wake your sleeping partner it is probably time to visit your doctor.

Other signs of sleep apnea may include: morning headaches, dry mouth and frequent nighttime urination. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea also leads to weight gain, mood changes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. More good reasons to get checked.

Obstructive sleep apnea can only be diagnosed by a physician who specializes in sleep disorders. The first-line treatment for sleep apnea is sleeping with a CPAP machine. While CPAP therapy is extremely effective, approximately half of all patients cannot or will not tolerate sleeping with the CPAP machine.

Fortunately, oral appliance therapy is another highly effective method of treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. It is also used to treat more severe cases when the patient is CPAP intolerant. Oral appliance therapy is available from dentists who are specially trained to treat obstructive sleep apnea patients.

While there are many styles of oral appliances, the most common types work by gently moving the lower jaw forward which keeps the airway open while sleeping. Most patients find the treatment comfortable and easy to adhere to.

In the Columbus area please contact Sleep Medicine Dentist, Dr. Mark Levy at 614-476-6696 today to schedule your consultation. You can have a restful night’s sleep!