Studies show that over 22 million Americans have a condition called sleep apnea. Thus, they are missing out on the rest their bodies desperately need to function properly. Even worse is the fact that 80% of the cases go undiagnosed. Along with discussing the traditional methods of sleep apnea treatment in Wesley Chapel, your dentist explains how maintaining a sleep regimen and other alternative methods of care can contribute to getting relief.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea refers to reoccurring lapses in your breathing while you rest. As a result of the pauses, your brain sends a distress signal that causes you to awaken repeatedly throughout the night. You can then experience the following symptoms:
- Loud snoring
- Daytime fatigue
- Inability to focus
- Decreased libido
The Most Common Type of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea. It is brought about by the tongue falling to the back of the throat and partially blocking the airway. Another contributor is increased girth around the neck area that can be brought on by weight gain.
Common Treatment Options
Here are three of the common treatment options for sleep apnea:
- CPAP Machine – The CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine consists of a mask that connects to a base unit that forces air into your throat while you sleep.
- Oral Appliance – An alternative to the CPAP machine is an oral appliance that is custom-designed by your sleep dentist. It is noise-free and less cumbersome than the CPAP machine.
- Combined Therapy – For patients who have more advanced forms of sleep apnea, acombination of both forms of treatment may be used.
An Alternative for Treating Sleep Apnea
Along with the above-mentioned conventional ways of treating sleep apnea, there are some lifestyle changes you can make. One of them is to establish a sleep regimen.
That means you should aim to retire for bed and awaken around the same times every day. Establishing a consistent pattern helps to condition your body to sleep better. This can be incorporated with the following other alternative methods:
- Eating healthier foods
- Reading before bedtime
- Starting a new exercise routine
- Fasting for at least two hours before retiring for the night
If you have any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, the first step is to reach out to your doctor. After a sleep study has been conducted, if it’s determined you have sleep apnea in Wesley Park, your sleep dentist can then provide the expert treatment you need to regain a normal and restful life.
About the Author
With nearly 40 years of experience practicing dentistry, Dr.Jay A. Nelson is an authority in the field. In his postgraduate capacity, he has received extensive training in dental sleep medicine, and he is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. A certified provider of the Somnodent™ oral appliance, Dr. Nelson helps patients get the rest they need at Nelson Sleep Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.