Sleep Apnea and Your Health in Silver Spring, MD
Is Sleep Apnea Affecting You?
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that interrupts your breathing throughout the night. It occurs due to a blockage in the airway, jolting you awake because of the lack of oxygen. In most cases, people won’t remember waking up during their sleep apnea episodes. Without treatment, sleep apnea can result in a wide variety of symptoms that impact both your physical and mental health daily.
At Silver Spring Sleep Solutions, Dr. Bassford and our team are here for you. Learn all about sleep apnea and the effects it can have on your overall health below.
Types of Sleep Apnea
There are two main types of sleep apnea that most patients suffer from:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) — occurs when the muscles at the back of your throat block your airway during sleep. This interrupts the flow of oxygen, causing you to snore and wake up repeatedly throughout the night.
- Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) — occurs when the brain isn’t sending the proper messages to your body to breathe during sleep. This type of sleep apnea is typically caused due to an underlying health condition.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Without a proper diagnosis, it can be hard to determine if you’re suffering from sleep apnea. However, if you’re dealing with any of the following symptoms, we suggest scheduling a consultation at our Silver Spring office:
- Loud snoring
- Memory issues
- Getting up multiple times/night to go to the bathroom
- Decreased libido
- Waking up with headaches and/or dry mouth
- Gasping or choking sounds while you sleep
- Fatigue during the day
- Mood changes
You can schedule your consultation with our sleep dentist by calling our practice at (240) 234-0948.
Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea
Certain factors are likely to increase your risk of developing sleep apnea, including:
- Large neck circumference
- Tobacco use
- Nasal congestion
- Alcohol consumption
Dangers to Your Health
Leaving sleep apnea untreated can lead to the development of other serious health conditions. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms that accompany a sleep disorder to ensure you can seek the treatment you need. The consequences go far beyond fatigue from lack of sleep — untreated sleep apnea has been linked to life-threatening issues including heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.
In addition to physical health consequences, sleep apnea can negatively affect your mental health as well. When you’re not getting the restorative sleep your body needs, you’ll start to feel tired and lack motivation. Eventually, this can result in anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I reduce my risk of sleep apnea?
To reduce your risk of sleep apnea, Dr. Bassford recommends making the following lifestyle choices:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Exercise regularly (yoga specifically promotes oxygen flow)
- Change your sleeping position, also referred to as positional therapy
- Use a humidifier to help open your airway
- Avoid smoking and the consumption of alcohol, especially before bedtime
Is it dangerous to leave sleep apnea untreated?
Yes! Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that leads to many symptoms beyond just snoring and not getting enough sleep. Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to several health consequences, including heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and liver problems.
Some of these events can even be fatal in the worst-case scenario, so it’s crucial to get help from an experienced sleep dentist like Dr. Bassford. During your consultation at our Silver Spring practice, she’ll evaluate your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that fits your needs.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
Sleep apnea is diagnosed with the use of a sleep study. Sleep studies can be performed in the comfort of your home or a lab while under the supervision of a physician. At your consultation with Dr. Bassford, she’ll determine if your symptoms warrant a sleep study.
Once your physician provides you with an accurate sleep apnea diagnosis from the sleep study, Dr. Bassford will work with you to create a customized treatment plan. To learn more, call our Silver Spring, MD office at (240) 234-0948.
Get the Sleep You Need for a Healthy Life
Dr. Alice Bassford is board certified and a diplomate of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. When you visit Silver Spring Sleep Solutions for a consultation, she’ll check your airway for signs of sleep apnea and ask you some questions about the quality of sleep you’ve been getting. She’ll also make sure you get the correct diagnosis for your condition and determine the treatment that’s best for you.
Many of our patients find relief using oral appliance therapy. These easy-to-use devices gently reposition the jaw forward, allowing you to breathe freely throughout the night. Our patients tell us that oral appliance therapy is a convenient alternative to CPAP, which can be loud, uncomfortable, and difficult to use.
It’s time to get effective relief for your sleep apnea so you can wake up every morning feeling refreshed and ready to go. Call our Silver Spring office at (240) 234-0948 today to learn more about our sleep apnea care and schedule a consultation with Dr. Bassford — it’s your first step on the road to a healthier life.
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10301 Georgia Ave, Suite 207
Silver Spring, MD 20902