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Sleep Apnea Philadelphia, PA

Sleep ApneaAn Overview

Sleep apnea is a chronic medical concern that can create oral and systemic health problems. The most common type is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep. For many patients, the airway is blocked by soft oral tissues.

When the airway becomes blocked the patient loses oxygen and is unable to breathe. Patients suffering from sleep apnea often wake up multiple times during the night gasping for air. These episodes of the airway closing and reopening can happen many times during sleep sometimes up to 30 times per hour.

When the body’s oxygen flow is interrupted vital organs, including the brain and heart can be damaged.

sleep apnea treatment in Bala Cynwyd, PA

Risk Factors for Developing Sleep Apnea

There are many factors that have been shown to increase your risk of developing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is often worse in people who drink, smoke, and use sedatives. Patients who are overweight, pregnant, and use drugs are also more likely to snore and suffer from sleep apnea.

The prevalence of sleep apnea increases with age and it is estimated that as many as 50% of elderly men and women suffer from the disorder. If you have a family history of OSA, have a narrow airway or small lower jaw, you also have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea.

Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

It may be difficult to tell if you have sleep apnea. A condition that occurs while asleep, many patients go undiagnosed for too long. Diagnosing a sleep disorder will typically involve your physician and/or other specialists as well as Dr. Weinstock. Your physician is the only medical professional that is qualified to diagnose you with sleep apnea.

You will most likely need to undergo sleep testing to get an accurate diagnosis. X-rays and exams will also look for signs of a blockage in your airway. Most importantly, your medical team will review your medical history and discuss your symptoms.

Common signs we look for include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Easily distracted, trouble concentrating
  • Wake up gasping for air
  • Loud snoring (often pointed out by a sleeping partner)
  • Frequent headaches
  • Snorting or choking while sleeping
  • Feeling depressed
  • Unusual irritability
  • Waking up to a dry mouth
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Sleep Apnea What to Expect

Without treatment, sleep apnea can lead to many health complications that can impact the quality of life. Untreated, sleep apnea can lead to an increase in heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart arrhythmia. It has also been shown to be associated with type 2 diabetes and depression. Dr. David Weinstock offers oral sleep devices as a treatment for sleep apnea.

Oral Sleep Devices for Sleep Apnea

An oral sleep device is similar to a sports mouthguard. The device will be carefully fabricated to the specifications of your mouth. The device is designed to readjust your bite to keep your tongue from rolling to the back of your mouth during sleep. The device will keep your airway open, allowing you to breathe normally during sleep.

An oral sleep device will help quell the sound and severity of your snoring. Snoring often is created by the same loosening of soft tissues, and an oral sleep device can help prevent that from happening.

If you have been identified as having sleep apnea by sleep specialists contact our Philadelphia, PA dentist office to find out how an oral sleep device can help relieve you of the symptoms and long-term effects of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea FAQs

Can I use a sports mouthguard at night for sleep apnea?

No. Sports mouthguards are only effective while playing contact sports. They are not built like oral appliances for sleep apnea. Although similar, they do not effectively open your airway while you sleep.

How long does it take to cure sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea symptoms can be relieved with treatment in as little as a couple of days. Although, this does not mean that your sleep apnea will be cured. To cure sleep apnea, you will have to make lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quit smoking, and eating a more balanced diet.

What is the best position to lay in with sleep apnea?

Sleeping on your side or on your stomach is considered the best sleeping position for patients with sleep apnea symptoms. These positions help by positioning your tongue in a way that doesn’t block your airway while you sleep.