CPAP Alternatives for Sleep Apnea Treatment in Silver Spring
We need to sleep each night in order to revitalize our body and restore its functions.
Unfortunately, many Americans suffer from the effects of poor sleep due to sleep apnea, and very few people ever find relief from the condition. Does it seem like you are in a constant state of exhaustion, have trouble focusing, or sometimes nod off while sitting at a stoplight or while watching TV? These all may be signs that you have obstructive sleep apnea. Does your bed partner complain about your loud and irregular snoring? If so, their involvement can also be helpful in achieving a diagnosis.
Sleep apnea is a serious disease, one that not only compromises the quality of everyday life, but also increases the risk of a wide range of longer-term health problems.
Of Cases of Moderate to Severe
Sleep Apnea are Undiagnosed
Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder, one that can compromise the quality of your everyday life, but also may increase the risk of a wide range of longer-term health problems. If you experience any of the symptoms below, you may have sleep apnea.
- An ongoing sense of listlessness, irritability, or depression
- Awakening in the morning with a sore throat or headache
- Decreased visual activity
- Experiencing sudden unexplained awakenings during the night
- Nodding off when sitting or driving
- Poor memory or an inability to maintain mental focus
Oral Appliance Therapy
Once upon a time, the CPAP was the primary treatment for sleep apnea. Currently, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine considers oral appliances to be one of the first and foremost methods of treatment for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, and for those who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy. Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is increasingly gaining popularity as a first-line treatment option for many persons diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the risk factors for sleep apnea?
While anyone can have sleep apnea from children to fit patients, there are a few risk factors associated with the disorder. These include:
- Excess weight
- Large neck size
- Middle age
- Male gender
- Women after menopause
- High blood pressure
- Family history
If you suffer from sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Bassford by calling (301) 593-5500. During the consultation, she’ll review your oral health and determine if you would benefit from undergoing a sleep study.
What's the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea?
The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is obesity. This is because obesity is linked to excess soft tissues in your throat and mouth. When you sleep, your soft tissues tend to relax and can cause your airway to become blocked.
When your airway becomes completely blocked, your breathing stops for 10 to 20 seconds or until the brain senses the apnea and signals to the body to begin airflow.
Sleep apnea is classified by severity. Mild sleep apnea is greater than 5 apneas per hour but less than 15, moderate is greater than 15 but less than 30, and severe is greater than 30 apneas in an hour.
Are there any long term effects of untreated sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where your breathing suddenly stops and starts throughout the night. The loss of oxygen has been linked to serious health consequences if left untreated. These include:
- High blood pressure
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart disease
- Chronic fatigue
Luckily, with proper treatment, you can begin to reverse the harmful effects of sleep apnea. If you or a loved one has sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with our office by calling (301) 593-5500.
During the consultation, Dr. Bassford will examine your head and neck function, the roof of your mouth, throat, tongue, neck, posture, body mass, and your nasal septum to look for any areas that may cause an airway obstruction. If she thinks it will benefit you, Dr. Bassford will recommend a sleep study to diagnose sleep apnea. After you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can begin treatment right away.
Are oral appliances effective for sleep apnea?
Yes– oral appliance therapy is a trusted treatment method for sleep apnea. It works by gently shifting the lower jaw forward and down to keep your airway open while you sleep. The device is portable and customized to fit the contours of your smile, so you’ll know it’s comfortable.