What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious health condition in which patients suffer from lapses of breathing throughout the night due to an obstruction in the airway. Typically, patients will stop breathing for a range of a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes. When this occurs, patients with sleep apnea may wake up or make choking sounds when trying to breathe.
Learn more about sleep disorders and the effective sleep apnea treatments in Nashua, NH that Dr. Stephen Ura offers with our guide to sleep apnea below.
Seeking CPAP Alternatives?
Sleep apnea can be effectively treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask. This electric-powered machine generates pressurized airflow into your throat, keeping your airway open throughout the night, and allowing you to breathe regularly. However, some patients find CPAP loud, restrictive, and inconvenient.
One of the main drawbacks of a CPAP machine is that it forces you to sleep on your back, which can become tedious. If you need to get up at night for any reason, you have to unhook the machine and put it back on again. Additionally, traveling with a CPAP machine can be challenging.
Oral Appliance Therapy in Nashua, NH
Fortunately, our Nashua, NH, sleep dentist offers a CPAP alternative treatment that’s convenient and effective. An oral appliance is a small device that resembles a retainer or mouthguard used by athletes. It gently repositions your lower jaw to keep your airway open while you sleep.
The oral appliances available at the Center for Dental Sleep Health are custom-made to match your specific needs. Plus, unlike CPAP machines, they’re quiet, easy to use, and travel-friendly. With CPAP, you’re dealing with side effects, but there are no side effects with oral appliances. They’re also more affordable than CPAP machines. Since they don’t make any noise, both you and your sleep partner can get a full night of restful sleep without interruption.
Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Health
Unfortunately, many patients who have sleep apnea don’t realize they’re suffering from a serious medical condition. In addition to making you feel fatigued and sleepy during the day, untreated sleep apnea increases your risk for several serious health issues including diabetes, and depression, as well as cardiovascular health issues such as heart disease and strokes.
Because sleep apnea often leaves patients feeling drowsy during the day, it hampers your performance at work and also increases your odds of suffering from a dangerous automobile accident. Additional health consequences of sleep apnea include anxiety, depression, reduced motivation, and diminished libido.
Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Heavy snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea. Further signs that your snoring is related to sleep apnea include excessive fatigue, morning headaches, and sore throat, or when you stop breathing while sleeping and make gasping noises as you begin to resume breathing.
If you think your loud snoring might be a symptom of sleep apnea, Dr. Ura will make sure you get the right diagnosis and treatment for you. If it turns out your heavy snoring isn’t related to sleep apnea, we can still treat your snoring. In either case, our Nashua, NH sleep dentistry office has solutions to provide the relief you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m a heavy snorer. Does that mean I suffer from sleep apnea?
Not everyone who snores suffers from sleep apnea, but it’s a common symptom of sleep disorder. It’s important to undergo a sleep study to get properly diagnosed and help ease any concerns you may have.
What if I don’t take a sleep test?
If you suspect that you have a sleep disorder and you don’t take a sleep study, you may continue to experience the negative effects of poor sleep and serious health complications including:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Additionally, if you’re seeking treatment for your sleep disorder, a sleep study is typically necessary to determine the appropriate course of action. Without a sleep study, it may be difficult to identify the underlying cause of your sleep disorder and develop an effective treatment plan.
I just got diagnosed with sleep apnea. What do I do?
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s vital to seek and start treatment as soon as possible to improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of complications.
Here are some steps you can take:
- Follow the treatment plan recommended by your sleep apnea dentist. This may include using a CPAP machine or an oral appliance.
- Make lifestyle changes that can help improve your sleep, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, and losing weight if you’re overweight.
- Learn more about sleep apnea, its causes, and its symptoms. This can help you better understand the condition and the importance of treatment.
- Join a support group or seek out the support of family and friends. Dealing with a chronic condition like sleep apnea can be challenging, but having a support system can help you stay on track with your treatment.
- Follow up with your sleep dentist regularly to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
Remember, untreated sleep apnea can have serious health consequences, so it’s important to take steps to manage the condition and improve your overall health and well-being.
How does losing weight help relieve snoring?
The obstruction of the airway leaves those suffering from sleep apnea gasping for breath when they wake up from their sleep. An excess of weight around the face and neck causes a greater obstruction in the airway. As a result of losing weight, these interruptions and snoring can be reduced.
Receive Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment
Ready to achieve a full night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed once again? Dr. Ura and our professional team offer a variety of treatments for patients suffering from sleep apnea or chronic snoring to ensure their health gets back on track. Don’t let restless nights hinder your life any longer. Learn more by scheduling an appointment at our Nashua office by calling (603) 237-1124.
You can also get in touch by filling out our online contact form, and one of our staff members will get back to you shortly. Dr. Ura and our team proudly provide sleep apnea services to the Nashua community and surrounding areas such as Hudson, Merrimack, and Milford, NH. We look forward to hearing from you!