Sleep Apnea Treatment in Los Alamitos
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition that robs you of your restful sleep and can leave you feeling exhausted and fatigued throughout the day. Because its symptoms resemble those of other conditions affecting sleep, OSA often remains undiagnosed. Don’t let disordered sleeping take the pleasure out of life any longer. Learn more about the condition and its treatment from Dr. William C. Poe, the dentist treating sleep apnea in Los Alamitos.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the sleep breathing disorder that causes sufferers to stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. OSA occurs when the lower jaw becomes so relaxed during sleep that it collapses, partially or completely blocking the smooth flow of air from the lungs and through the airway to the brain.
The most common symptoms of OSA include…
- Chronic, disruptive snoring
- Sudden waking with a gasp or choking sound (often observed by a partner)
- Sore throat or dry mouth upon waking
- Fatigue, irritability, confusion during the day
Keep in mind that because the sleep apnea sufferer may not remember snoring loudly or waking frequently throughout the night, it is often the sleeping partner who identifies a problem requiring treatment.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Heart Health
If you suspect you or your loved one are dealing with OSA, do not wait to seek treatment. When ignored, the condition can wreak havoc on your heart health, sometimes resulting in premature death.
Your heart takes a lot of pressure throughout the day -- especially if you are already under stress or add additional factors like alcohol or tobacco use. When you are unable to fall into a restful, full night’s sleep, the heart does not receive the rest and relaxation it needs to recharge. This constant activity puts you at an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, heart disease, and other cardiovascular conditions.
In addition to affecting your heart health, OSA has been linked to depression and migraine headaches. Seeking a diagnosis and treatment for OSA is crucial for protecting your overall health.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment from Dr. Poe
If you suspect you are suffering from OSA, first seek a diagnosis from your general doctor, then visit your dentist for sleep apnea treatment. Dr. Poe treats OSA with a removable oral appliance. Small, silent, and portable, the oral appliance is preferable for patients who have not found success with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy. The CPAP is bulky, uncomfortable, and can be more disruptive than the original symptoms.
Oral appliance therapy works by holding your lower jaw in place, preventing its collapse and facilitating the smooth flow of air during sleep. The appliance is custom-fitted to your mouth, ensuring the maximum in comfort for continuous use.
Sleep Apnea Diagnosis? Get Started With Treatment
If you have recently received a sleep apnea diagnosis, visit Dr. Poe to get started with your treatment. We can help you regain eight hours of restful sleep with the removable oral appliance. Request an appointment online today!
Sleep Apnea FAQs
Leaving sleep apnea untreated can have life-threatening consequences, but fortunately, Dr. Poe is here to help you get a good night’s rest again. Is there anything you want to know about sleep apnea or how it’s treated? You can get the answers you need by reaching out to our team. Before that, though, we suggest that you read the following FAQs to see how we’ve responded to a few of the sleep apnea questions that tend to be on a lot of patients’ minds.
Can I Diagnose Sleep Apnea on My Own?
While you may be able to identify warning signs – such as loud snoring and excessive sleepiness – that can potentially point toward sleep apnea, simply having symptoms isn’t enough to confirm that you have the disorder. To determine whether you truly have sleep apnea, you will need to have a sleep test performed. As such, you should get in touch with your general doctor as soon as possible if you think you may have sleep apnea; they can help you make the necessary arrangements to have a sleep test performed.
How Soon After Starting Sleep Apnea Treatment Will I Notice Improvement?
Wearing an oral appliance will help prevent the obstructions of the airway that cause sleep apnea episodes. As such, the quality of your sleep should start to improve almost right away. Note that you may need some time to get used to wearing your appliance; for many patients, the adjustment process only takes about one or two nights. A sleep test is the only reliable way to tell whether the quality of your sleep has truly changed for the better, but there’s a good chance that you will notice a reduction in your symptoms.
Can I Have Oral Appliance Therapy If I Grind My Teeth?
Sleep apnea is sometimes accompanied by nighttime teeth grinding. For many patients, this can be all the more reason to invest in an oral appliance. The device can effectively act as a barrier between the upper and lower rows of teeth. As such, your enamel will be protected from any grinding that occurs. You don’t need to worry about the oral appliance becoming damaged; it will be durable enough to stand up to the forces of teeth grinding without issue.
What Does Sleep Apnea Look Like for Women?
Men and women tend to experience different sleep apnea symptoms. Men often snore and experience fatigue during the day. Meanwhile, women are more likely to suffer from insomnia as a result of their sleep disorder. They might also start to experience symptoms of depression or anxiety. It should be noted that while men normally have a higher risk for sleep apnea in general, women may be more likely to develop it if they are pregnant, overweight, or postmenopausal.