We Treat Sleep Apnea and Snoring
A lot of people think sleep apnea and snoring are two words for the same thing. This is a common misunderstanding. Snoring is simply a sound that’s caused by the vibration of tissue which occurs as a patient breathes during sleep. Heavy snoring is a major symptom of sleep apnea, but just because you snore, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that requires medical attention. It causes the patient to wake up several times during the night and it deprives oxygen from their brain and body. If you feel anxious, restless, or fatigued during the day, you could be suffering from sleep apnea.
Whether your heavy snoring is a sign of sleep apnea or not, Dr. Katz will make sure you get the correct diagnosis and the appropriate treatment.
Alternatives to CPAP
A CPAP machine delivers a steady stream of air into the patient’s airway in order to maintain a constant airflow. It’s a very effective treatment for cases of severe sleep apnea. Unfortunately, most patients stop using CPAP after less than a year. A common complaint is that CPAP is bulky and difficult to use.
For patients with mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, doctors often prescribe an oral appliance. This is a custom-made device that fits in your mouth and resembles a retainer. An oral appliance is small, portable, easy to use, and comfortable. You can take it anywhere.
In addition to treating mild to moderate sleep apnea, oral appliances can also be used to treat snoring and teeth grinding that’s associated with TMJ Disorder.
The Risks of Ignoring Your Sleep Apnea
Your sleep apnea isn’t going to go away on its own. When left untreated, the consequence of sleep apnea can be devastating and even fatal. In addition to strokes and heart attacks, sleep apnea is also linked to depression, anxiety, obesity, and several other damaging medical conditions.
Sleep apnea also affects your ability to complete basic tasks. In fact, fatigued sleep apnea sufferers are responsible for numerous traffic accidents annually. And in children, sleep apnea causes daytime drowsiness and behavioral and academic problems at school. Unfortunately, childhood sleep apnea is often misdiagnosed as ADHD because the symptoms are very similar.
Sleep apnea and snoring are two common conditions among Americans, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, it’s important to be well informed on the topic in order to treat it. Many of our patients have asked similar questions, so Dr. Katz has created this list of FAQs to inform everyone about sleep apnea and its treatments.
Is someone who snores loudly suffering from sleep apnea?
No. While snoring is common among many people and can lead to sleep apnea, there could be alternate reasons for your snoring as well.
Is it possible to treat my snoring even if I don’t have sleep apnea?
There are multiple ways to treat snoring, including using the same oral appliances that we use to treat sleep apnea. He may also suggest lifestyle changes such as sleeping on your side if you’re sleeping on your back.
Is there something you should do if you suspect you or a loved one might have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a severe condition that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. If you’ve already been diagnosed by your primary care physician and are seeking treatment, contact our office to schedule your free consultation today.
If you haven’t been diagnosed but are interested in learning more about sleep apnea, Dr. Katz is Board-Certified by the American Sleep Breathing Academy. He can answer any questions you have and help you take the proper steps towards a diagnosis.
Is it possible for Dr. Katz to diagnose your sleep apnea?
No, Dr. Katz can’t diagnose you with sleep apnea. While he can provide you with treatment and advice, you must see a qualified sleep physician to receive a sleep apnea diagnosis.
What is a sleep study?
A sleep study is an overnight test that records the activity of the body during sleep. Your primary care physician will use this to determine your sleep apnea diagnosis.
During the sleep study, you’ll be monitored by specialized computers as well as by your doctor. While it’s common for people to have their study performed at a specialized facility, home sleep tests are available.
What is the affect of sleep apnea on my health and overall quality of life?
Sleep apnea causes you to develop poor sleeping habits that can cause stress to your body and mind. The condition has been linked to heart, diabetes, and other medical conditions.
Sleep apnea has also been known to cause mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.
What is the affect of sleep apnea on spouses?
Many sleep apnea patients snore throughout the night or become restless. These actions can keep yourpartner awake at night and cause them to feel irritable during the day as well. When spouses start becoming affected by their partner’s sleep apnea, this can put a strain on your relationship.
Is CPAP the only effective treatment for sleep apnea?
There are multiple other treatment options for those who find CPAP to be invasive or ineffective. After evaluating your condition, Dr. Katz may prescribe an oral appliance or recommend exercises to help treat your sleep apnea.
What is an oral appliance?
An oral appliance is a custom fit mouthpiece that you’ll wear while you sleep. It’s specifically designed to support the jaw in a forward position to maintain an open airway, effectively treating your sleep apnea. Oral appliances are often used as an alternative to CPAP based on their convenience and mobility.
Dentists, like Dr. Katz, are uniquely trained to create these one-of-a-kind devices. If you’re looking for a quiet, non-intrusive alternative to CPAP, an oral appliance might be for you.