Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic sleep disorder that causes your breathing to be repeatedly interrupted throughout the night. This condition doesn’t go away on its own and only gets worse over time. That’s why identifying sleep apnea and seeking treatment is crucial for improving quality of life and reducing the risk of complications.
Signs that you should watch out for if you suspect you may have OSA include:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping or choking during sleep
- Restless tossing and turning
- Waking up feeling tired and unrefreshed
Individuals with OSA may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.
Diagnosing sleep apnea requires a comprehensive evaluation by a doctor or sleep specialist. This may include a physical examination, medical history review, and a sleep study. A sleep study, or a polysomnogram, monitors various physiological parameters such as brain activity, eye movements, heart rate, and breathing patterns during sleep. This can be done at either a sleep lab or at home depending on your circumstances.
Treatment options for OSA vary depending on the severity of the condition and patient preferences. The most common treatments include:
- lifestyle modifications
- such as losing weight
- sleeping on your side
- avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bedtime
Other treatments include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy and oral appliances. CPAP therapy involves wearing a mask over the nose or mouth while sleeping to deliver pressurized air that keeps the airway open.
Oral devices like The Silent Partner aid by repositioning the jaw and tongue to keep the airway open during sleep. The Silent Partner, FDA-cleared and TMJ-friendly, was created by our Bellevue dentist to combat snoring and mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. Its design prioritizes healthy jaw function, comfort, and customizable adjustments without the intrusiveness of CPAP.
Take Control of Your Sleep & Health Today!
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects many people and can have serious health consequences for your physical and mental health if left untreated. Identifying sleep apnea and getting an official diagnosis is your first step towards achieving restful sleep again. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, contact our office by calling (425) 646-6409. With proper treatment, you can improve your quality of life and reduce the risk of any future complications!