Himachal Dental

Treatment Of Sleep Apnea

Posted in General Dentistry by UK Dental Tourism on July 3, 2010

You may well have heard of sleep apnea. There has been a lot of coverage of this condition in the media over the last few years but many people are still confused about the exact nature of apnea, what causes it and how it can be treated.

The most important thing to realise is that sleep apnea is not simply the same as snoring or even a variant of it. Snoring is cause by soft tissue vibrating when breathing during sleep. Apnea is the complete cessation of breathing during sleep and the noise of choking associated with this. As you can see it is definitely a more serious problem than but there are two variants of sleep apnea that are very distinct.

The most common signs people should be aware of include: excessive sleepiness during the day, and repeated shortness of breath while sleeping. Your bed partner may be the first one to notice these apnea indicators

The sleep apnea disorder may also have associated features which helps people ascertain if they have the condition or not. Some of these sleep apnea symptoms include;

– loud snoring
– depression
– heartburn
– high blood pressure
– irritability
– dry mouth after waking up
– having trouble concentrating or remembering
– in some cases, insomnia
– morning or night headaches
– unexpected gain in weight

Sleep apnea symptoms differ from person to person, and some patients even suffer from multiple of these signs. To help diagnose the severity of the said sleep disorder, a sleep apnea test can be taken.

The first is called obstructive sleep apnea and occurs when the airway becomes blocked by a collapsing soft palate at the back of the throat. This will eventually right itself after a few seconds but can happen many times during the course of a night. This is the less serious form of apnea and can usually be treated with an appliance from your dentist.

The other kind of apnea is called central sleep apnea and is concerned with an interruption in the central respiratory part of the brain, which forgets to send a message to the lungs to breath. As you can imagine this is a slightly more serious problem and needs more serious medical attention. Central sleep apnea can be the underlying cause of stress, anxiety, fatigue and in extreme cases, even death. If you are concerned about sleep apnea of any kind then you need to make an appointment with your dentist to have the problem treated as soon as you can.

No doubt you’re tired and not thinking too clearly. For the great majority of sufferers there is only one option offered – CPAP. It is not an easy solution to accept and has many drawbacks. But for those suffering with daytime fatigue and worry over long term serious health effects, it is a lifeline.

However, it’s important to understand that there are CPAP alternatives.Let’s start with the easy ones!Here are some alternative sleep apnea treatments that are the easy to do – but they will not completely cure your apnea. What they WILL do is help you to get a better night’s sleep while you are looking into permanent apnea solutions.

# Change your sleeping position involving sleeping on your side, instead of on your back.
#Breathing solutions which include nasal strips and saline drops.
#Didgeridoo therapy involving breathe control therapy focusing on strengthening the airway muscles and calming.
#Lifestyle changes that can improve apnea include the reduction or elimination of drinking, smoking, and drugs.
#Dental device (also called Oral device)that is worn in the mouth to bed and holds your jaw in a forward position, which opens your airway. After a referral from your doctor, a dentist will make a mold of your teeth and create a mouthpiece.
#Acupuncture which may facilitate release of body-healing hormones.
#Throat surgery – especially if your apnea is caused by a problem with the structure of your airway.These include the removal of the uvula, adenoids, and tonsils. Other procedures involve stiffening of the upper throat with implants, and repositioning (advancement) of your tongue.
#Nasal surgery can be an effective treatment for some sleep apnea sufferers. Nasal surgery can include any of the following types of surgery:

o Straightening of the septum
o Reduction in size of the turbinates, either through tissue removal or radio frequency to reduce underlying bony structure
o Removal of inflamed or infected tissue in the sinuses
o Enlargement or removal of bony tissue in the upper sinus area

Sleep apnea can be the underlying cause of stress and anxiety in everyday life as it prevents the sufferer getting the necessary amount of proper sleep. More worryingly though is the fact that it can put an enormous strain on the heart which can lead to heart disease and even fatal heart attacks. If you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea it is important that they see a dentist for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

Treatment Of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep 3 or more nights each week. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow.This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. The blockage may cause shallow breathing or breathing pauses.When you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea happens more often in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone.

Untreated sleep apnea can:

* Increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes
* Increase the risk for or worsen heart failure
* Make irregular heartbeats more likely
* Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents

Major Signs and Symptoms

One of the most common signs of obstructive sleep apnea is loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring. Choking or gasping may follow the pauses.The snoring usually is loudest when you sleep on your back

Others signs and symptoms of sleep apnea may include:

* Morning headaches
* Memory or learning problems and not being able to concentrate
* Feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings or personality changes
* Urination at night
* A dry throat when you wake up

Treatment Of Sleep Apnea

* Avoid alcohol and medicines that make you sleepy. They make it harder for your throat to stay open while you sleep.
* Lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. Even a little weight loss can improve your symptoms.
* Sleep on your side instead of your back to help keep your throat open. You can sleep with special pillows or shirts that prevent you from sleeping on your back.
* Keep your nasal passages open at night with nose sprays or allergy medicines, if needed. Talk to your doctor about whether these treatments might help you.
* Stop smoking.
* A mouthpiece, sometimes called an oral appliance
* Breathing Devices-Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
* Surgery

Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. Doctors usually can’t detect the condition during routine office visits. Also, there are no blood tests for the condition. Most people who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it because it only occurs during sleep.Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and/or breathing devices can successfully treat sleep apnea in many people. Treatment can improve your overall health and happiness as well as your quality of sleep.Consult your doctor today for more information.

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