Sleep Apnea Treatment in Vista, CA

Sleep apnea is a respiratory disorder which creates difficulty breathing during sleep. This can lead to other symptoms, including snoring and restlessness. Many sleep apnea sufferers stop breathing for moments at a time during the night. Left unchecked, sleep apnea can lead to more severe health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. However, one of the biggest complaints people have with sleep apnea are interpersonal in nature. Strained relationships, stress, and sleepless nights can take their toll on marriages, employers, family, and friends. How we treat Sleep Apnea
Types of Sleep Apnea There are three main types of sleep apnea. The most common is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This type of sleep apnea occurs due to a physical obstruction in the throat that severely limits or (even blocks) airflow. Breathing obstruction occurs because the muscles that support the throat, including your tongue and soft palate, relax during sleep. Your airway narrows, which limits or momentarily stops breathing. The main takeaway from OSA is that it’s caused physically. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is far less common than OSA. CSA sleep apnea is caused by the brain rather than the throat (meaning it’s not a physical obstruction). The brain stops sending regular signals to breathe, which means breathing slows gradually until it eventually stops. People with CSA sleep apnea typically experience multiple cycles of this a night. Third and finally, complex sleep apnea is a combination of both OSA and CSA. Anyone can suffer from sleep apnea; however, there are risk factors that increase the likelihood you’ll experience sleep apnea. These include (but aren’t limited to) being male, being older, and carrying excess weight. Symptoms of Sleep Apnea While the causes of the three types of sleep apnea differ, the symptoms are often the same. This can make it difficult to determine which type of sleep apnea you have. Considered individually, no one symptom below can determine that you do or don’t have sleep apnea. However, taken together, they help piece together the puzzle. If you’re experiencing multiple of the following, it’s worth giving us a call to diagnosis the root cause. That said, common symptoms like snoring are not necessarily the same thing as sleep apnea; a sleep test offered by a sleep physician can help determine the true cause. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include: Regular, loud snoring. The loudness of snoring ranges from the barely audible to barely tolerable. Particularly when it is loud, snoring can be a sign that breathing is fitful or otherwise disrupted. If your partner no longer wants to sleep in the same room do to your snoring, you should investigate sleep apnea as a potential cause. Gasping for air during sleep. This is another sign that airways are disrupted. When airflow is significantly constricted, those suffering from sleep apnea may find themselves gasping for breath during the night. Sometimes this is enough to wake the sleeper (and potentially their partner). However, not everyone who suffers from this will notice by themselves. Stops in breathing during sleep. This is a more advanced (and somewhat scarier) symptom than the one above. Sometimes harder to detect in yourself, often this is reported by a partner. However, some will find that breathing stops long enough to disrupt sleep. Regular headaches upon waking. Headaches have a number of causes, but sleep apnea is a contributor, especially when headaches are regular right upon waking. Consider that most headaches can be cured with time and sleep; if sleep is seemingly the cause of headaches, it may in fact be due to sleep apnea. Persistent dry mouth upon waking. It’s natural to lose a certain amount of water when we sleep. However, excessive dry mouth and feeling dehydrated can be caused by poor breathing during sleep, which dries out the mouth. Insomnia. Trouble sleeping is a potential sign of sleep apnea, particularly when the cause is not falling asleep, but staying asleep. As indicated above, difficulty breathing can cause restless sleep, if not outright disruptions. Long nights can impact your mood and wakefulness during the days as well. Hypersomnia. Otherwise known as daytime sleepiness, hypersomnia can be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep at night. While not all daytime drowsiness is caused by sleep apnea, taken with other signs, it can be a significant symptom. Difficulty paying attention while awake and irritability are hallmarks of this, both caused by a persistent lack of good sleep. Moodiness, irritability, and stress. Another symptom of poor sleep over a prolonged period of time. Sleep apnea doesn’t just affect your night; it can affect your daytimes too. No one likes a grouch.

Treating sleep apnea is important to your overall health

Left untreated, sleep apnea can cause interpersonal issues (due to excessive snoring, moodiness, and fatigue), as well as more serious long-term health complications. The latter includes (but isn’t limited to) high blood pressure, heart disease, increased risk of diabetes, strokes, and even liver problems. These are all serious systemic issues that can form, in part, due to chronic poor sleep over a given time. Bottom line: we all need good, restful sleep to restore our bodies and stay healthy. Difficulty breathing (due to sleep apnea) disrupts sleep over the long-term, creating and compounding on other issues. This can put serious strains on your health, personal relationships, and overall quality of life.

Sleep apnea appliances in Vista, CA

The most common and well known treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, which stands for (continuous positive airway pressure). CPAP machines help prevent a patient’s airways from collapsing during sleep by putting pressure in the throat. Mandibular advancement devices (known as MADs) are another sleep apnea appliance provided by dentists. These are designed to reposition the jaw and tongue in a way that keeps your airways open during sleep. In other words, they reposition rather than apply ongoing pressure (as is the case with a CPAP). MADs look and operate similar to a mouthguard. Other appliances include the TAP 3 Elite, Herbst, and EMA, all of which are non-invasive treatment options for mild to moderate sleep apnea. They are also less intrusive than CPAP machines, making them all viable alternatives to patients who don’t want to go the CPAP route. CPAP machines and MADs are very effective ways to combat sleep apnea; however, there are many alternatives, many of which are less hardware intensive. Solutions can include some combination of changing your sleep positions, abstaining or reducing alcohol consumption, tongue retaining devices, orofacial therapy. In some cases, surgery is also an option.

Schedule a consultation for sleep apnea in Vista, CA

Some sleep apnea cases are more challenging to address than others. Our doctors have experience treating even the most difficult cases with expertise and quality sleep apnea appliances. You and your loved ones deserve a great, comfortable night’s sleep. We can help.

Dr. Yaron Miller of Ivory Pointe Dentistry is your top choice for Sleep Apnea Treatment in Vista, San Marcos or Oceanside, CA.

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